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The purpose of the organization is to unite sugarbeet growers in the United States and promote the common interest of state and regional beet grower associations, which include legislative and international representation and public relations.
Our members associations represent 10,000 family farmers in all 11 producing states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming). The Board of Directors donate their time and talents to ASGA in order to represent their growers' interests in maintaining a strong, profitable, efficient and productive industry. They and their fellow farmers are dedicated to supplying a portion of the consumer's sweetener needs. It is a challenge and responsibility that they take seriously and proudly accept.
In the News
It's that time of year again. Birds are chirping, trees are budding, and bulbs are flowering.
Small children are excited about spring break, egg hunts, and decorated Easter baskets.
And Big Candy is busy complaining on Capitol Hill even though they are selling more product than ever – more than $2.2 billion worth of candy this Easter alone.
If you are a Hill staffer or reporter who has had an otherwise peaceful week interrupted by never-ending complaints from candy lobbyists about U.S. sugar policy, consider some of the recent good news they aren't sharing with you.
"The Ferrara Candy Co. is expanding two plants in the Chicago area. The plants are located in Bellwood and Bolingbrook, Ill."
Food Business News
"Nearly 90 percent of shoppers in a National Retail Federation survey said they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion [this Easter]."
"Clif Bar & Co. broke ground Thursday, March 12, for the Clif Bar Baking Co. in Twin Falls, Idaho... The new $90 million, 270,000-square-foot bakery will help the company meet growing demand worldwide and bring more than 200 jobs when it opens in the spring of 2016, company officials said."
"Kansas City-based Russell Stover Inc. fetched a sweet price — about $1.6 billion — when the company's sale to a Swiss buyer closed last September."
Kansas City Star
"Lindt profit boosted by U.S. demand."
Wall Street Journal
"Hamtramck's [Mich.] most popular chocolate shop is expanding... Alexandra Clark, owner of Bon Bon Bon in Hamtramck, Friday confirmed that she's expanding."
MLive Media, Detroit
"St. Croix Chocolate Co. buys building, plans expansion [in Minn.]."
Since confectioners and other sugar-using industries rarely share their success with lawmakers – choosing instead to poormouth about the distress caused them by sugar farmers – the American Sugar Alliance built a home for Big Candy's big news.
That site tells tales of rapid expansion, record profits, sales strength, and recession resistance. It has posted nearly 100 entries in the past year alone, and it should provide some good reading material when you're enjoying delicious sweet treats this weekend.
Last week, the National Farmers Union (NFU) convened its annual convention to set policy positions for the country’s second largest farm organization over the next 12 months. And part of that updated policy portfolio is continued support for America’s sugar farmers and the policy on which they depend.
According to NFU’s official policy guide:
We support the continuation of the no-cost U.S. sugar program and encourage Congress to work with U.S. sugar producers to adopt a strong sugar program in future farm bills. Today’s program has successfully provided consumers with stable, reliable supplies of sugar at reasonable prices, provided sugar producers with decent income and providedgood employment opportunities in rural communities.
“NFU is a champion of sugar policy and sugar farmers, and America’s sugar producers are very appreciative of their continued support,” said Carolyn Cheney, chairwoman of the American Sugar Alliance.
NFU’s vote of continued support comes on the heels of a similar vote by the American Farm Bureau Federation in January. The Farm Bureau, which is the country’s biggest farm organization, approved a policy that reads, in part:
We support a program to protect the interests of domestic sugar producers and recommend that any appropriate legislation should include a sugar title with provisions that ensure a strong and economically viable domestic sugar industry... We support maintaining the inventory management provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill sugar program.
Cheney said the continued support is not surprising considering the success of the current sugar policy, which has supported 142,000 jobs and $20 billion in economic activity, maintained affordable prices, and remained the least expensive commodity policy in the Farm Bill.
Sugar policy cost taxpayers $0 from 2003 to 2012 and ran at no cost again in 2014. The USDA projects continued no-cost status from 2015 to 2025. The only year it carried a cost, 2013, was the direct result of Mexico dumping subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market.