Editorial on Sugar Prices Is Criticized

Editor, News-Register:

The May 29 editorial about sugar policy was poorly researched and incorrect.

In it, you blame U.S. sugar prices for the demise of the New England Confectionary Co. and state: “Whether a buyer can be found to resuscitate the company is in question.”

It’s not in question. The creator of Necco Wafers found a buyer a week before the editorial’s publication. Spangler Candy beat out three other companies to purchase the candy maker.

There would not be multiple bids to purchase New England Confectionary if the U.S. sugar market were as dire as you described it.

In fact, U.S. candy makers are increasing domestic operations and adding jobs, announcing more than 100 expansion projects since the current sugar policy was signed into law in 2014. That’s not the sign of a struggling industry.

And the growth makes sense. U.S. sugar prices are lower today than in 1980. There’s less than two cents worth of sugar in a $1.49 candy bar, which leads to big profit margins for candy makers.

The debate over U.S. sugar policy boils down to a simple choice: Do we want to produce sugar on U.S. farms or outsource production to subsidized foreign industries with low labor and environmental standards?

It’s no surprise that Congress continues to reject attempts to gut America’s no-cost sugar policy.

Richard Gerstenberger, president

American Sugarbeet

Growers Association

Washington, D.C.

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