Partner Spotlight: Sugar Association
From Sugar Association President and CEO Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., RD
The Sugar Association has always worked on behalf of our farmers, processors and refiners. As the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry since 1943, we represent 11,000 sugar beet and sugar cane growers, as well as tens of thousands of others who take the sugar from the farms and turn it into the sugar we can enjoy. We are fortunate that over 75 years ago we were founded as a research organization and have therefore always embraced and supported research and innovation. Today we transparently support new research that helps us understand the role sugar plays in health as well as our evolving eating habits. From our perspective, nutrition science goes hand in hand with farming and agriculture – and we certainly feel there is a critical need to increase research funding across this whole spectrum.
One of the current challenges in agriculture is consumer connection. It seems that somewhere along the way we took for granted that consumers know where their food comes from. We have failed on education. We need to change this and reconnect consumers to agriculture again. When it comes to sugar, only 33% of Americans are aware that sugar comes from plants and just 17% think of sugar as being grown on a farm. This is not good! However, we are excited for the challenge and are launching an educational campaign this fall to help increase consumer awareness about where real sugar comes from.