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posted: 6/4/2012 5:00 AM

Reforms needed to reduce sugar prices

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I am a small-business owner of a bakery that employs more than 50 people in Elk Grove Village. We have been in business for over 52 years and created many happy memories for families and been charitably active in the community.

Unfortunately, it is getting more and more difficult to provide this support for the community as I face a never-ending struggle with high prices and tight supplies of sugar. The federal government limits how much sugar can be produced in the U.S. Along with rigid import quotas, this policy has driven up sugar prices and makes it extremely difficult to maintain competitive pricing for our product. Consequently, I face tough decisions with keeping my employees on payroll or having to pass increased sugar prices on to the consumer.

However, there are current legislative initiatives before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee that would comprehensively reform the current sugar program and spur growth in our sugar-using industry. The bills discontinue price supports to sugar processors, reform onerous restrictions on sugar imports and put a stop to federal quotas on domestic sugar production that have put U.S.-based food manufacturers at a grave disadvantage against their foreign competitors.

I urge Congressman Randy Hultgren to support comprehensive sugar reforms that level the playing field for businesses like mine. We cannot afford to lose more jobs and businesses in Illinois.

Kenneth Jarosch

Elk Grove Village

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