Dear Chairman Oberman:
The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) requests your urgent attention to recent rail issues undermining efforts to continue providing food and beverage products to U.S. consumers in a cost-efficient and timely manner. While there has been a significant amount of media attention given to these issues, we believe that it is useful to provide our own on-the-ground account of the difficulty and extreme cost that has been imposed on our companies due to lack of performance by the rail sector in recent months.
SUA represents companies that purchase sugar for use in foods and beverages. SUA members include many of the largest food manufacturers in the United States and purchases of sugar by these and similar industrial users represent a large portion of sugar consumed in the U.S. These companies rely on major suppliers to provide high-quality refined sugar on a timely basis. In many cases, rail transportation is the best option for SUA members to obtain sugar delivered directly to their factories, and delivery of sugar in this bulk form is an integral component of the business plans for SUA members’ manufacturing plants.
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