No Support From Potato Growers

Published online: Oct 21, 2003
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The United States sweetener industry will not receive any help or alignment from U.S. potato growers. Because many growers in the 14 major potato-producing states grow both sugarbeets as well as potatoes, you would think there would be some sort of alignment so that any acreage cuts to the sugar industry doesn't translate into more potato acres. However, when asked about the situation, John Keeling, executive director of the National Potato Council based in Washington, DC, said his growers do not want to align with the sugar industry for fear any trade alignment would hurt potato export trade. Keeling said the group understands the situation but its hands are tied because any connection could damage trade export opportunities with other countries. "Trade is one area where we and others in the fruit and vegetable industry back away from sugar," he said. "Defending their programs costs us the initiative in trade agreements."