The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Frozen Food, Meat Producers: RFS Ethanol Mandates a Kitchen Table Issue

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 8, 2013

Grain, chicken and turkey producers are just parts of America's food industry that are being impacted by the ethanol mandates in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). 

When corn to produce ethanol requires more growing space, there’s less room for other crops, driving those prices higher. Demand for corn to make ethanol is driving the cost of feed for livestock higher, making meat costlier. And when some kinds of meat rise in price, demand (and thus, price) increases for cheaper meat. The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and the American Meat Institute (AMI) add their voices to the other food industry perspectives on the RFS that we've highlighted in recent weeks:

“As American consumers continue to cope with a period of pro-longed economic turmoil, and U.S. food, beverage and consumer products makers from farm to fork struggle with record high commodity prices, we believe it is EPA’s duty to grant a waiver for the applicable volume of corn ethanol required by the RFS." – AFFI

"Congress should adopt an energy policy that, while promoting sustainable, domestic, and affordable energy sources, does not lead unnecessarily to increased food prices." – AFFI

"In total, corn is used in 75 percent of the food on supermarket shelves. Losses in grain yields, therefore, have a severe impact on U.S. food production for both domestic consumption and exports such as corn, soybean, and meat products." - AFFI

"It’s not just corn – food-to-fuel policies create a ripple effect for all agricultural products, also increasing prices for basic staples like bread, eggs and milk." – AMI

"[W]ithout a high biofuels mandate, the market more easily adjusts to short-supply situations because ethanol producers will, at some corn-price level, also reduce corn usage. Conversely, high biofuels mandates create inflexibility in markets, the study says, and “any required adjustment in demand (for corn) would occur outside the ethanol industry” (e.g., feed, livestock/poultry, food)." –  AMI

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.