WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2018) – In a new video released today, Hawaiian Host Inc. CEO, Keith Sakamoto, joins the chorus of voices calling for reform of the U.S. sugar program. With manufacturing facilities in both Los Angeles and Honolulu, the manufacturer of popular brand-name confections explains why the outdated U.S. sugar program is harming his business and employees.
“It makes it very difficult and unfair for us in the international arena,” says Sakamoto speaking to the competitive disadvantage imposed by the U.S. sugar program. “It’s also about the broader economic impact that we have with our vendors and our customers and the jobs that those will create as well.”
Sakamoto explains that in addition to their 500 employees, Hawaiian Host Inc.’s reach expands to their vendors. “We buy materials and ingredients in terms of chocolate, butter, packaging materials, and they employ a lot of people as well.” To be able to compete, he says, “Let’s reform the sugar program so that we can level the playing field for U.S. companies like us.”
The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265 / SB. 2086), introduced by a bicameral, bipartisan group of federal lawmakers late last year, would reform the outdated and outrageous program. The proposal creates an adequate supply of sugar based on a reasonable competitive approach that reaches from the farm to the retail shelf – without risking an appropriate safety net for farmers. Congress can reform the U.S. sugar program this year as part of its consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill, which sets government agriculture policy.
Hawaiian Host Inc. isn’t alone in calling on Congress to reform the U.S. sugar program. To hear what others are saying, watch the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy’s new video series.
The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) is a broad-based coalition advocating to modernize the outdated and outrageous U.S. sugar program. Formed by a sizeable group of small, family-owned businesses and manufacturers, retailers, food and beverage companies, trade associations, environmental advocates, taxpayer watchdog organizations, responsible government advocates, think tanks and other organizations, the group’s goal is to help level the playing field for American manufacturers and their families when it comes to being able to create jobs. To learn more about the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy and the need for sugar reform, please visit FairSugarPolicy.org.