Various associations and food companies, including the American Bakers Association and Bimbo Bakeries, signed a letter to urge the new Secretary of Agriculture to examine sugar policy and propose reforms, as well as ensure existing policies do not further distort markets. The letter explains that USDA's supply and demand projections show a need for an immediate increase in sugar tariff rate quotas (TRQ). The Department projects that on Sept. 30, available sugar stocks will fill only 9.9 percent of demand, far below the usual stocks-to-use ratio of 15 percent. Some 600,000 tons of sugar needs to be added to available supplies. Because of lead time to purchase, ship and refine raw sugar, a TRQ increase is needed soon to avoid supply disruptions later this year. A 2008 industrial accident is partially to blame for the current shortage of refined sugar. So it also is important that a portion of imports be available in the form of refined sugar of high polarity. The companies support a technical change to U.S. tariff schedules that would allow the Secretary to control the refined TRQ.