In late July, we took our fight for sugar reform to Washington, D.C., where we met with members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the damaging impacts of the sugar industry that are supported via the U.S. Farm Bill. 

We traveled across the U.S. Capitol grounds to meet with Democratic and Republican members of Congress from around the country who heard our plea for a change in the 2023 Farm Bill. Our case was made stronger by you and thousands of others who have signed the Sugar Reform Now petition.

The leaders we met with were struck by the water and air pollution linked to the sugar industry in Florida. They listened to how the overly generous sugar protections in the Farm Bill enable these poor environmental practices to continue. It’s clear the case for sugar reform is resonating on Capitol Hill. 

Sugar Reform is a bipartisan cause – and that’s why we were able to have productive conversations with Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Democrat representing Central Florida, and Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from the Stuart area.

Friends of the Everglades led a coordinated effort with national groups including Sierra Club, Patagonia, Center for Biological Diversity, League of Conservation Voters and Friends of the Earth, to inform the House and Senate Agriculture committees about how sugarcane burning poisons marginalized communities and damages the environment. Our group letter was signed by 21 organizations. 

Your support made this happen. If you haven’t already signed the Sugar Reform Now petition, please join over 2,400 of our Friends by adding your name now.

This trip was a positive, bipartisan sign of momentum for reforming the 2023 Farm Bill, which expires September 30.