Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2012)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today expressed its strong opposition any amendment that Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) intends to introduce during next week’s markup of the farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee that would change current sugar programs in such a way as to effectively eliminate the program.
“Any House amendment similar to the Toomey amendment that we saw in the Senate would undermine a program that costs taxpayers nothing and would threaten the jobs thousands of Americans across the country,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “The benefits of ending the sugar program would not go to U.S. consumers but rather to our foreign competitors, who are heavily subsidized.”
“The sugar program in the bill has evolved, like every other farm bill program, over the years, and has reached a balance to ensure adequate and safe supplies of sugar at very competitive prices,” Conner continued. “NCFC strongly urges members of the House Agriculture Committee to vote against any amendment to change the program.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.