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David Resnick, Twin Valley, Minn., Published November 09 2013

Letter: Sugar’s problem is management

The phone interview with Dave Berg, CEO, American Crystal Sugar seems to be disingenuous (Forum, Nov. 5). He blames the low price to the beet farmers on oversupply, 2 percent lower sugar content and low prices for the sugar. Everything but his management.

The facts don’t bear out what he says and a 2 percent reduction in sugar content doesn’t add up to a 45 percent reduction in payments to the farmers. Here are the relevant statistics:

Year Approx. Payment

Sugar to farmers

Prices per ton

2008 /Oct. $.11 $51.58

2009/Oct. $.23 $52.87

2010/Oct $.23 $73.02

2011/Oct. $.26 $58.67

2012/Oct. $.20 $68.41

2013/Oct $.1825 $38.00

As you can see, the payment to farmers does not correlate to the price per ton, on the contrary, there are other factors.

What Berg fails to attribute the low payments to is his stewardship of the company and the costs associated with that, the disastrous strike he let happen under his “leadership,” and the overproduction that he has directed. It’s clearly time for a new direction.