The Canadian sugar industry is internationally unique in that it does not depend on government subsidies. Basing its prices on world raw sugar markets, it sells sugar at prices that are among the lowest in the world.

Since its inception, the Canadian sugar industry has operated under an open market policy, based on the principles of free trade. By aligning sugar prices closely with world market raw sugar prices, Canadian refiners have been able to market refined sugar at prices below those of almost all other industrial nations.

In most other countries, government intervention supports sugar prices at artificially high levels and imports are restricted. While these policies protect the domestic sugar producers in these countries, they also result in higher prices for the consumer and sugar-containing product manufacturers. In the US, Europe and Japan, for example, sugar prices are as much as two to three times higher than in Canada. Canada's low sugar prices benefit Canadian consumers and have helped many sugar-using food manufacturers to compete internationally.