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EFSA to give advice on the intake of sugar added to food

March 25th, 2017
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EFSA will provide scientific advice on the daily intake of added sugar in food by early 2020. The Authority aims to establish a science-based cut-off value for daily exposure to added sugars from all sources which is not associated with adverse health effects. The work will be carried out following a request from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Added sugars from all sources comprise sucrose, fructose, glucose, starch hydrolysates such as glucose syrup, high-fructose syrup, and other sugar preparations consumed as such or added during food preparation and manufacturing.

The adverse health effects under consideration will include body weight, glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity, type-2-diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, as well as dental caries. In its assessment, EFSA will look at the general healthy population, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

The advice will guide Member States when establishing recommendations for the consumption of added sugars and in planning food-based dietary guidelines.

Sweden is coordinating the request to EFSA on behalf of the five Nordic countries. Annica Sohlström, the Director General of the Swedish National Food Agency, said: “We welcome EFSA’s acceptance of the mandate which reflects the need to scientifically evaluate the links between added sugar and health at a European level.”

What is going to happen next?

EFSA will establish an ad-hoc working group with expertise in dietary exposure, epidemiology, human nutrition, diet-related chronic diseases and dentistry. The five Nordic countries that initiated this mandate will be invited to the working group as observers.

EFSA will use its established methodology to develop a protocol on how to carry out the assessment. Known as Prometheus – PROmoting METHods for Evidence Use in Scientific assessments – the method shows how EFSA selects evidence, how this evidence contributes to the risk assessment and how EFSA reports on the entire process and it results.

In line with its commitment to openness and transparency, EFSA will engage with stakeholders throughout the assessment process. It will hold two public consultations, inviting feedback on the draft protocol in the first half of 2018 and on the draft opinion in late 2019, which will also involve a face-to-face meeting with stakeholders.

Background

In 2010, EFSA published its Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which also included sugar. At this time, the available evidence was insufficient to set an upper limit for the daily intake of total or added sugars. New scientific evidence has come to light since then. There has also been growing public interest in the impact of the consumption of sugar-containing foods and beverages on human health.

Source: EFSA

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Australian Sugar Milling Council: Time to Put the Sugar Industry Ahead of Politics

February 11th, 2017
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The Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) says any calls for even more political intervention in the Queensland sugar industry are both disturbing and unhelpful.

“The period since the Queensland Parliament passed flawed legislation to re-regulate the Queensland sugar industry has demonstrated the cost of such regulatory intervention,” said ASMC CEO Dominic Nolan.

“All ASMC member milling companies did everything commercially possible to negotiate fair and transparent business arrangements rather than see regulatory intervention.”

All mills remain opposed to the legislation. Mills were not consulted in the drafting of the legislation, and identified at the time that it would lead to ambiguity and cost, without delivering any additional value to the Queensland sugar industry.

“The Queensland legislation is bad for the industry and has severely interrupted the positive progress that had been made by the industry since deregulation was agreed to by mills and growers in 2006,” said Mr Nolan.

ASMC understands the problems this legislation has caused, and acknowledges the uncertainty that has flowed from it for growers and their families – along with mill employees and their families and the regional communities that rely on the sugar industry as a key economic driver. A strong and positive relationship at a regional level between mills and growers is an essential platform for our industry to prosper.

“Each mill company has had to respond to the legislation according to their commercial risk and business models. It is no surprise that the response from all Queensland mills has been different.”

“There has been millions of dollars spent in implementing new commercial arrangements as a result of the legislation already.”

“There is one milling company still in negotiations with Queensland Sugar Limited over an On Supply Agreement and positive progress is being made towards finalising arrangements,” Mr Nolan said.

“Mills are committed to continuing to work within the regulatory framework of the day to maximise commercial benefit for themselves and their growers.”

“Further Government intervention won’t help anyone.”

“A heavy cloak of regulation is an impediment to the key relationship between millers and growers and will limit potential growth and development opportunities,” Mr Nolan concluded.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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Sugar Reduction Should be Innovation Rather Than Policy Driven

December 6th, 2016
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Beneo says that replacing sugar with healthier alternatives has become a requirement from the consumer and heavy trends for better nutrition and reduced sugar intake should be driving the market, rather than government pushing for taxes and legislation to curb sugar consumption.

Christoph Boettger, who has recently been appointed as a board member, spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst during Hi Europe where he demonstrated Beneo’s sugar-reduced solutions and explained how the company continues to address sugar reduction to meet the demands of consumers.

“We are focusing very much on the replacement of sugar as we feel it’s a huge trend in the market, a requirement of the consumer. A large share of populations intend to cut sugar intake in their daily nutrition. And that’s why with our ingredients, we have been working on smart solutions to replace sucrose in many products of daily life,” he says.

Boettger presented samples of sugar-reduced products that benefit from a lower blood glucose effect using less or no sucrose and, as a result, contribute sustainably to weight management.

The range of samples on show at Hi Europe included a sugar reduced strawberry yogurt with Beneo’s chicory root fiber, oligofructose, which reduces the total sugar content of this fruit yogurt by at least 20 percent.

And a no added sugar milk chocolate containing BENEO’s sugar replacer ISOMALT and chicory root fiber inulin, the sugar content could be reduced by more than two thirds. At the same time, it conveys the same taste as the full-sugar equivalent. In addition, a low glycaemic non-carbonated isotonic drink including Beneo’s next generation sugar, Palatinose. This orange-flavored sports beverage contains 30 percent less high glycaemic sugars and can carry a “low glycemic” claim.

“When we are replacing sugar it is important for us that we are also reducing the load of high glycemic carbohydrates in the product which is done often in consumer products where for example starch is replacing the sugar which is taken out.” Boettger adds.

“But with starch being a high glycemic you still have a high impact on the blood sugar level meaning a fast increase to a higher level, which then also leads to a respective injury limit response.”

“For a healthier lifestyle this should be reduced because this type of strong fluctuation of the blood sugar level enhances obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

As sugar taxes resonate around the world, Beneo is pushing for more consumer choice rather than enforced legislation from governments.

“We are glad that we can provide solutions to everybody that wants to reduce sugar consumption, who wants to replace sugars. I think the choice should always be given to the consumer to go for the solution he intends to have. With the examples we have, we can give this choice to the customer so that he can decide himself without regulation from the outside which is forcing him in a certain direction.

“For us what is much more important is that the sugar is not only replaced but that it’s replaced with a healthy alternative which our ingredients can provide.”

Beneo is committed to sustainable farming, enabling the company to develop high quality ingredients derived from chicory root and beet sugar and its dedication to the conscious sourcing of rice and wheat also supports biodiversity, reducing water pollution and soil erosion. The company’s continuous investment in state-of-the-art factories ensures high-level energy efficiency and it has a strong focus on corporate social responsibility.

Beneo also cites how it invests heavily in research and development, with a budget six times higher than the European food industry average.

Watch the full interview here.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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Mars, The World’s Biggest Candy Maker, Makes The Case Against Sugar

June 18th, 2016
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It appears that confectionery giant Mars, the company behind M&M’s, wants you to eat less of its candy.

Reports have it that Mars is attempting to convince McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen and other fast-food chains to drop its candy goods from their dessert lineups in a bid to encourage moderate sweets consumption.

Reuters reported that an industry source familiar with current talks said Mars spoke to McDonald’s as well as other partners about its candies’ inclusion in their sugar-laden products, including the McFlurry. M&M’s boast of 7.5 teaspoons of sugar, which is around one-third of that present in every serving of the large McFlurry.

Recipe reformulations are another consideration, the source added.

Earlier in 2016, Mars strengthened its public stance that sweets should be consumed in moderation. It endorsed recommendations made by leading health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee, which urge limiting consumption of sugar – particularly added ones – to nothing over 10 percent of total calorie intake.

The company also backed a new U.S. government rule requiring food companies to disclose how much sugar they add in their offerings. To the surprise of many, Mars – also the manufacturer behind Snickers, Twix and Skittles – was the first candy maker to list calorie amounts on its product labels, with others in the industry moving along with the practice eventually.

It also halted the sale of its supersized candy bars and restricted candy packages to only 250 calories for each serving.

“We are now working alongside our suppliers and customers to bring this commitment to life,” a Mars spokesperson told Reuters in response to the report, declining to comment further.

Margot Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, lauded the decision to acknowledge one’s own food as something that should be eaten only occasionally.

“Maybe in private when you are talking to a company they’ll say, ‘yeah candy is a treat,’” she said in a CBS News report, hitting how the company’s advertising would, in reality, actually endorse its products as a necessary snack.

To others, Mars is missing the bigger picture, which is that it is still junk food, according to public health attorney Michele Simon. It remains, however, that the latest move from the biggest confectioner in the world reflects a movement against sugar in the food industry.

Obesity is an escalating issue worldwide, now affecting about 1.9 billion individuals. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, costs for treating obesity-linked diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, have ballooned to $147 billion in 2008 dollars.

Taxing high-sugar and highly processed foods has been proposed to curb the growing epidemic, particularly in countries such as the United Kingdom.

Source: TechTimes.com

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Rabobank: sugar market faces “strong headwinds”

January 3rd, 2015
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sugarStrong headwinds look set to impact the sugar industry, with abundant global sugar stocks continuing to weigh on world market prices, according to Rabobank’s Sugar Quarterly Q4. Although prices have been under pressure for some time, projections suggest that world production in 2014/15 will be little different from the previous year.

“80% of global sugar production today comes from cane. Cane is a semi-perennial crop, meaning that if farmers don´t like the current cane price, it nevertheless takes them time to switch land out of cane into other crops. That is one reason for the slow response to low prices. Another reason is the diminishing incentive to switch to other crops, given that the prices of many other agricultural commodities are also falling along with sugar prices,” said Rabobank’s Andy Duff.

The principal driver of price developments has been the continued weight of global sugar stocks on the market, currently predicted to diminish only modestly over 2015. At this stage, it appears that global production in the 2014/15 international crop year has not responded significantly to low prices, though time remains for revisions to forecasts for important countries.

Other influences on price movements include the effect of the strong US dollar; pressuring international sugar prices, while also sustaining the value of world market sugar in local currency terms in key exporting countries, such as Brazil. In addition, developments in oil prices over the last three months have emerged as a new potential driver of prices in 2015.

Regional Outlooks:

EU: EU production is forecasted at 18.6 million tonnes raw for the 2014/15 marketing year, a 12% YOY increase from 2013/14.

India: Forecast sugar production was revised up to 25.5 million tonnes, as a result of increased planting, and favourable monsoon rains.

Mexico: Sugar production in 2014/15 stands at 6.2 million tonnes raw value. Some downside risks remain due to the wet autumn’s impact on yields.

Brazil: As the cane season draws to a close, Rabobank estimates Brazil’s 2015/16 crop as between 550 million to 580 million tonnes.

US: With a tight balance sheet, reduced beet crop and an ongoing trade dispute with Mexico, US sugar prices have risen significantly and are expected to remain firm.

Australia: Production should reach 4.6 million tonnes this year. Below-average rainfall forecasts and the potential of an El Nino event raises concerns for 2015.

Indonesia: Indonesian sugar refiners are nervous. At the time of writing, the government has yet to allocate import quotas for 2015. Meanwhile, domestic production lags rocketing local demand.

Thailand: The 2014/15 crop is not expected do well. Sugar production is projected to be around 12% lower than last year’s 11.9 million tonnes.

China: Yet another decline in sugar production level is expected to result in a 12% decrease in production versus the previous season.

Source: Ingredients Network

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Isoglucose market report

August 15th, 2014
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comunidad europeaThe future of the EU isoglucose market may look sweet, but it is also full of uncertainties. According to a new report from Rabobank – Will Starch Grains Beat Sugar? – the impending change in EU sugar policy in 2017 could trigger a shift from sugar to isoglucose use.

Rabobank believes that isoglucose production could take off, particularly in grain and starch-rich but sugar-poor countries such as Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. At the same time, other regions in the EU are also set to capture some of the growth. The actual market potential for isoglucose in the EU remains to be seen, but it will depend on various factors including isoglucose prices vis-à-vis sugar prices, beverage and food manufacturers’ willingness to use an alternative sweetener, as well as consumer preference.

“Since agricultural production and consumer preferences differ from country to country within the EU, the end of quotas in 2017 presents various potential scenarios and opportunities for players in the region”, state Rabobank analysts Vito Martielli and Ruud Schers.

Currently, isoglucose quotas limit the total EU production for domestic consumption to 720,000 tonnes per year, about four per cent of the EU caloric sweeteners market. Most of this production takes place in the eastern EU. The key question for determining any shift in production is how much demand there will be once the quotas are lifted.

Source: Confectionery Production

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MycoTechnology uses mushrooms to create sweeter chocolate with less sugar

July 25th, 2014
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Chocolate_1MycoTechnology, Inc., a cutting-edge, food technology startup, is working to create great tasting cacao made from far less sugar than normal.

By nature, cacao beans are not sweet and require a significant amount of added sugar to mask the bitterness. For example, an average milk chocolate bar contains 31 grams of sugar, or 72 percent by weight.

The healthier dark chocolate bars contain 21 grams of sugar (51 percent by weight). However, the company claims that when cacao beans undergo its MycoSmooth process, they can make great tasting chocolate with little to no added sugar.

“By using gourmet mushrooms and their natural cleansing abilities, we are able to train them to consume only the bitter compounds in chocolate,” the company explains on its website. “The mushrooms symbiotically interact with their food source, giving back valuable nutrients other unavailable in chocolate.”

MycoTechnology is in discussions with several of the largest food companies and the reception has been positive.

One Fortune 500 food company said “With your MycoSmooth chocolate we can significantly reduce the sugar requirements in several of our products, which will allow us to provide a lower-calorie solution to our customers while significantly reducing our ingredient costs.”

The MycoSmooth process was first applied to coffee beans in 2013 with outstanding results. Even low quality Robusta beans treated with the MycoSmooth process brew into smooth, full-bodied coffee that tastes great without any additional sugar or creamers. Also, after going through the process, the coffee also had significant levels of beta-Glucans, which are known for boosting the immune system.

Since 2013, MycoTechnology’s research department has perfected the process for coffee and cacao, and its now working on a variety of other food compounds. The MycoSmooth process is ideal for bitter products or products with a known taste defect.

As a food technology company, MycoTechnology will produce finished or partially finished private-label products for customers.  As an alternative, they will also license the rights to the process.

Source: Candy Industry

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Cargill & Copersucar reach agreement to combine global sugar trading activities in new joint venture

April 4th, 2014
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cargill-logoCopersucar and Cargill announced today an agreement to combine their global sugar trading activities into a new joint venture that will originate, commercialize and trade raw and white sugar. The joint venture, in which both Copersucar and Cargill will own a 50-percent stake, will have a global footprint.

The joint venture will build on the capabilities of both companies with the intent of increasing the efficiency, quality and services in the sugar supply chain as well as leveraging an in-depth understanding of the worldwide market to the benefit of our customers.

Its customers will benefit from the complementary strengths of Copersucar and Cargill. Both companies’ combined global supply chain will allow the new joint venture to seamlessly move a wide range of sugar qualities and different origins from port to destination in a timely and efficient manner, meeting the specific requirements of customers worldwide. The new joint venture will benefit from a global footprint as well as large-scale supply of Copersucar’s partner mills in Brazil, complemented by Thai, Indian, Central American and Australian origins. Additionally, it will benefit from the companies’ proven track-record in logistics management and access to the elevation terminals in Brazil.

Luis Roberto Pogetti, Chairman of Copersucar commented: “Through the new company, Copersucar reinforces its strategy of achieving a global footprint in the sugar market. Copersucar also enhances its unique business model, based on large-scale supply, logistic capacity and the integration of all links of the chain, from the producers to the customers.”

Olivier Kerr, Cargill Corporate Vice President, added: “We believe that the strong analytical capabilities of our trading teams combined with the global footprint of this new joint venture, will offer our customers a distinct understanding of the global market.”

Cargill and Copersucar have shared business values. They are committed to high ethical business standards and to being a responsible partner in the communities in which they operate.

The new company will be an independent joint venture of its two parent companies, Copersucar and Cargill, with a new name to be announced at closing. The trading activities will be based out of Geneva, Switzerland, and the joint venture will have offices in Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Miami, Delhi, Moscow, Jakarta, Shanghai, Bangkok and Dubai. Furthermore, the joint venture will have a true global presence with additional representation offices around the world. Ivo Sarjanovic, who currently leads Cargill’s sugar business, will be appointed chief executive officer once the new company is formed. Soren Hoed Jensen, current sugar & ethanol sales executive director of Copersucar will become the joint venture’s chief operating officer, and Stefano Tonti, currently financial controller of Cargill’s global trading and sugar businesses, will become the new joint venture’s CFO. Luis Roberto Pogetti, Chairman of Copersucar, will become the first rotating Chairman of the new joint venture.

Both companies’ ethanol businesses and fixed assets, such as terminals and mills, are excluded from this transaction. These activities will remain separate business, individually owned by Cargill and Copersucar.

The formation of this new joint venture is dependent upon regulatory approval, which is expected in the second half of 2014.

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What 3D-Printed cake tastes like

January 17th, 2014
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Sugar Labs substitutes extruded plastic for sugar, and makes a new kind of dessert.

Call them Cakerbots. Adding to the growing list of things you can 3D print (toys, human organs, pizza that will be eaten on Mars, etc.) is a machine promising that, with it, you can print yourself some dessert.

In the “3D Printing” section of the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the consistently busy booths has belonged to 3D Systems’s Sugar Lab. And to, in particular, the booth’s display of elaborate cakes and candies whose confectionary components have been constructed inside a 3D printer.

The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro print, basically, sugar: They work by applying a mixture of alcohol and water to wet and then harden the sweet stuff. The devices’ focus on crystalline sugar, combined with the capabilities of the printers themselves, results in forms that would be next to impossible to construct with human hands—little sculptures that double as dessert. The printers start at more than $4,000 for models that print with black-and-white food coloring; color models will likely retail for closer to $10,000. As Sugar Lab’s co-founder, Kyle von Hasseln, told me, the target markets for the machines are bakeries, restaurants, and event planners.

rd-printred-cake

So, basically: The plastic couple that sometimes tops wedding cakes? That can now be edible. The princess atop little Jennifer’s birthday cake? Same. Architectural confectionery is enjoying a renaissance of late; you could see 3D printing fitting right into that trend. Indeed, the towering cake you can see in the picture at the top of this post was made in collaboration with Charm City Cakes’s Duff Goodman, of Ace of Cakes fame.

The construction components are fitting: Von Hasseln and his wife, Liz, are trained architects. They actually stumbled onto the Sugar Lab idea when they were experimenting with 3D-printer-friendly materials (sawdust, that kind of thing) for fabricating architectural models. “We tried sugar,” Kyle von Hasseln told me, “just because it was cheap—and then we realized that if we modified it, we could eat it.”

And what about making the eating … actually pleasant? How do you make construction materials taste good? “We got into the material science of it,” Von Hasseln says. “A chef probably could have gotten it really quickly,” he laughs, but it took him and Liz several tries, he says, before they got a formula that would combine structural integrity with good flavor.

So then … what do 3D-printed confections taste like? I sampled Sugar Lab’s chocolate offering. And the stuff tasted pretty much like traditionally manufactured chocolate does—except a little less sweet, a little bit drier, a little more crumbly. You know how chocolate, after it melts and rehardens, has a slightly different flavor and texture than it did before? The 3D-printed chocolate is like that.

But what it lacks in tastiness, it makes up for in prettiness. Imagine being served this towering thing for dessert.

Source: The Atlantic

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Sugar reform: Now or never

April 12th, 2013
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sugar‘This is the closest we’ve come to actually reforming our domestic sugar program since I’ve been editor’

It is time for all candy makers to get off their duff and send “e-mails, voice mails and money” to Congress to get rid of our national sugar welfare program.  Pardon the Warren Zevon parody, but I believe this is the closest we’ve come to actually reforming our domestic sugar program since I’ve been editor of Candy Industry.

Recently, a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Congressmen — yes, your read that correctly — introduced the Sugar Reform Act of 2013 (Senate Bill 345), which aims at lowering sugar prices without the use of federal supply interventions.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) , who’s cosponsoring the bill together with a host of Senators — including Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and  John McCain (R-AZ) as well as Congressmen Joe Pitts (R-PA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Danny Davis (D-IL) —  maintains the Senate “candy desk” with candy stocked from Illinois companies.

Consequently, as one would expect, sugar reform is a subject near and dear to his heart.

“Illinois is the ‘Candy Capital of the World,’ but in the last decade the number of jobs in the industry has steadily decreased because of our current policies, which artificially inflate the price of sugar,” Kirk told reporters last month in announcing sponsorship of the bill. “The [Sugar Reform Act] will end unfair pricing in the industry and keep companies from shipping skilled manufacturing jobs overseas.”

And while I recognize that our current Congress is grappling with various serious issues as we speak — everything from gun control to immigration reform — ending our sugar welfare program should also be a key priority.

After all, in the end, we’re talking jobs.

Consider a study conducted by two Iowa State University economics professors John Beghin and Amani Elobeid. In 2011, they wrote a paper that analyzed the probable effects of ending the government’s sugar program and moving to free trade in sugar.

According to the Heartland Institute,Beghin and Elobeid concluded that the following would occur if sugar reform would be enacted:

“The U.S. price of raw sugar falls by 24 to 34 percent (rounded) depending on the year of the projection. The wholesale refined sugar price falls by 32 to 40 percent, and the retail refined sugar price falls by 26 to 33 percent. These effects are net of the increase in the world price of sugar induced by larger imports by the US economy.

In addition, the two professors saw the following scenarios:

  • The raw sugar price on the world market increases by 2 to 4 percent or by about 1 cent per pound.
  • These U.S. price changes reduce the cost of sugar in food processing and sugar retailing with benefits accruing to food processors and consumers. However, they induce contracting margins for all U.S. sugar industries from sugar crops to refiners.
  • Domestic sugar production (beet sugar and raw cane sugar) initially declines about 10 percent and then recovers to nearly unchanged.
  • Consumption rises about 15 percent. Imports rise about 80 percent. Cane sugar refiners operate at full capacity using raw sugar imports as input. The United States shifts from being a net importer of sugar-containing products to being a net exporter.

Of course, those opposed to sugar reform challenged the professors’ stats.

There are, however, plenty of other statistics to consider, such as the sugar program creating a $14-billion hidden tax for consumers and businesses, the loss of 125,000 jobs because of sugar-using companies going offshore, and U.S. sugar prices averaging 64 to 92 percent higher during the past four years.

Several confectionery executives have spoken out on the need to support sugar reform — George Stege of Ford Gum Machine and Co. and Joe Dutra from Kimmie Candy Co. to name a few —  inviting their local congressman to visit plants and see for themselves the kind of technology and automation confectionery manufacturing supports. More importantly, our politicians then actually see the kinds of jobs the industry creates.

As Michael Rosenberg, president and ceo of Promotion in Motion pointed out to me,  the best argument for the confectionery industry in getting Congress and citizens to push for sugar reform involves jobs creation.

Our May cover story focuses on the growth of Promotion in Motion, a truly fascinating success story. It also illustrates the fact that the company has created 400 jobs in New Jersey — a place not necessarily known for manufacturing.

It’s something Rosenberg is particularly proud of, as he should be. It’s also something he did in spite of our government’s sugar program. Imagine what sugar reform could do in unleashing the creation of additional jobs in sugar-related industries such as confectionery, bakery, cereal, beverage and dairy.

So don’t delay, write and phone your Congressman. Contact the NCA on how to get a legislator to visit your facility, regardless of whether it’s large or small. And let the White House know. As that old Presley song tells us, “It’s now or never.”

Source: Candy Industry

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