Foodservice Equipment Reports

Ethanol Bill Reform To Lower Wholesale Food Costs

A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress April 10 would reform the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that large quantities of corn be diverted for use in the production of corn-based ethanol.

Opponents of the standard argue that the government’s policy of fostering the use of corn, the chief ingredient in U.S. livestock feed, as a fuel source is artificially inflating its price and driving up commodity costs, including meat, dairy and wheat products.

The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act would ban corn-based ethanol from being used to meet the standard and reduce the size of the standard by more than 40% over nine years. Restaurant and food associations have voiced support for the bill.

In a letter to the bill’s sponsors, Scott DeFife, exec. v.p.-policy and government affairs for the NRA, said, “Rising food costs remain a top business challenge for restaurants with wholesale food costs increasing nearly 30% in the last six years. The Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn-based ethanol mandate has created a market for fuel use of this feedstock that has tightened supply margins and contributed to this rise in costs.“The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act will work to bring those costs down by eliminating the conventional biofuels mandate and effectively prohibiting the use of corn-based ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

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