Sugar Farmer Tells Congressmen: Big Users Not Passing Lower Sugar Prices To Consumers

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Sugar Alliance

    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the House Agriculture
 Committee got documented evidence today of how devastatingly lower sugar
 prices for farmers have not been passed on to consumers by the big food
 manufacturers, candy makers, grocers, and others.
     Ray VanDriessche, a farmer from Bay City, Michigan, and president of the
 American Sugarbeet Growers Association, testified before the committee, as it
 begins deliberation on the 2002 Farm Bill. VanDriessche presented a chart and
 graph in his written testimony that gave dramatic figures on loss of income by
 farmers as prices plummeted, while big commercial sugar users continued to
 raise their prices to consumers.
     Citing figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, VanDriessche
 related that projected total cane refiner and beet processor losses from lower
 wholesale prices amounted to $3.66 billion since 1996.
     None of the savings of the lower wholesale sugar prices has been passed
 along to consumers, he noted. Because grocers have raised retail prices for
 sugar and food manufacturers have raised retail prices for sugar-containing
 products, consumers have lost $1.65 billion during this period, he told the
 lawmakers.
     The bottom line, VanDriessche said, is that grocery and food
 manufacturers, coupling the lower wholesale price they have paid and the
 higher prices they have charged consumers, have added a whopping $5.31 billion
 to their profit picture.
     VanDriessche said, "While wholesale refined sugar prices during 1997-2001
 have averaged nearly 4 cents per pound less than in 1996, grocers have charged
 an average of almost 2 cents per pound more for refined sugar during this same
 period. At the same time, food manufacturers have boosted the prices they
 charge for highly sweetened products, such as candy, cereal, ice cream and
 baked goods, by from 4 to 14 percent."
     VanDriessche also noted that, to add insult to injury, it is these same
 big grocers and commercial users of sugar that want to eliminate the last
 vestiges of a safety net U.S. farmers have under sugar policy.
 
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SOURCE American Sugar Alliance
    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the House Agriculture
 Committee got documented evidence today of how devastatingly lower sugar
 prices for farmers have not been passed on to consumers by the big food
 manufacturers, candy makers, grocers, and others.
     Ray VanDriessche, a farmer from Bay City, Michigan, and president of the
 American Sugarbeet Growers Association, testified before the committee, as it
 begins deliberation on the 2002 Farm Bill. VanDriessche presented a chart and
 graph in his written testimony that gave dramatic figures on loss of income by
 farmers as prices plummeted, while big commercial sugar users continued to
 raise their prices to consumers.
     Citing figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, VanDriessche
 related that projected total cane refiner and beet processor losses from lower
 wholesale prices amounted to $3.66 billion since 1996.
     None of the savings of the lower wholesale sugar prices has been passed
 along to consumers, he noted. Because grocers have raised retail prices for
 sugar and food manufacturers have raised retail prices for sugar-containing
 products, consumers have lost $1.65 billion during this period, he told the
 lawmakers.
     The bottom line, VanDriessche said, is that grocery and food
 manufacturers, coupling the lower wholesale price they have paid and the
 higher prices they have charged consumers, have added a whopping $5.31 billion
 to their profit picture.
     VanDriessche said, "While wholesale refined sugar prices during 1997-2001
 have averaged nearly 4 cents per pound less than in 1996, grocers have charged
 an average of almost 2 cents per pound more for refined sugar during this same
 period. At the same time, food manufacturers have boosted the prices they
 charge for highly sweetened products, such as candy, cereal, ice cream and
 baked goods, by from 4 to 14 percent."
     VanDriessche also noted that, to add insult to injury, it is these same
 big grocers and commercial users of sugar that want to eliminate the last
 vestiges of a safety net U.S. farmers have under sugar policy.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X75286138
 
 SOURCE  American Sugar Alliance