Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2013)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today expressed its strong opposition to the amendment offered by Representative Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.) to the farm bill (H.R. 1947) being debated on the House floor today. The amendment would change, and effectively dismantle, current federal policies with regards to sugar.
“The U.S. sugar policy has evolved over the years and has a proven track record in providing helping farmers to compete against heavily subsidized foreign competitors,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “Ending our sugar programs would simply result in fewer jobs for Americans and more for our foreign competitors.”
“The U.S. and global sugar markets have collapsed, with farmers having seen a 55 percent drop in prices received just since debate on the farm bill has gotten underway,” continued Conner. “Now is not the time to weaken or repeal a long-standing element of U.S. agricultural policy. I urge a ‘no’ vote on the Pitts sugar amendment.”
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.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.