Florida’s Sweetest Industry Supports Over 19,000 Jobs, $4.7 Billion Economic Impact in State

A new study was released this month reporting that America’s sugar farming families and workers support more than 151,000 jobs across more than two dozen states and contribute more than $23 billion to the economy each year.

The new study from the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University, titled “Economic Impact of the U.S. Sugar Industry,” is authored by renowned agricultural economists Dr. Bart Fischer and Dr. Joe Outlaw.

Drs. Fischer and Outlaw analyzed production levels and prices for the sugarcane and sugarbeet industries and profiled six growing regions to illustrate the ground-level impact of the industry.

This study highlights America’s sweetest industry featuring our city of Belle Glade, underscoring the critical importance of maintaining domestic sugar production by supporting strong farm and trade policies. 

Among the report’s Florida findings:

  • Florida sugarcane growers and the Florida sugar industry support 19,201 jobs
  • Florida’s industry contributes $4.7 billion annually to the state’s economy
  • Eighteen Florida accounts for about 20% of all sugar consumed (cane and beet) in the country
  • 80% of the crop is grown on high organic matter muck soils and 20% on sand
  • 50% of the cane sugar produced in the U.S. comes from Florida

Among the report’s national findings:

  • Sugar production in America has an annual economic impact of $23.3 billion.
  • The sugar industry supports 151,238 direct and indirect jobs, an increase since a 2009 analysis. However, since 2009, several sugar producers have been driven out of business by increasing costs and relatively flat prices.
  • Wages and benefits associated with these jobs total $5.7 billion annually, an increase of 37 percent from the 2009 report.
  • Efficiency gains have increased production by 13 percent.

View the state-by-state and crop-specific results report for more information.

View America’s Sugar Alliance’s release here.

SOURCE: Voices of the Glades >