“The baking industry recognizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) modest proposal to lower the corn-based ethanol mandate. However, ABA strongly encourages EPA to move to further alleviate the pressure corn-based ethanol puts on grain availability and costs,” said Robb MacKie, president & ceo of the American Bakers Association (ABA). “Corn-based ethanol is a factor that has led to decreased wheat acreage in the US over the past 30 years and tighter food supplies around the world. According to most experts, corn-based ethanol accounts for over 40 percent of acreage planted in the United States. With a finite number of acres available for food production that becomes problematic.”
The corn-based ethanol mandate of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a factor playing into greater market volatility and market uncertainty. These factors lead to tighter budgets and hinder job creation at a time when businesses, including bakers, are challenged by the ongoing economic environment.
“Recently there has been scrutiny of the RFS program by Congress and this needs to continue,” said Rasma Zvaners, ABA’s policy director. “The House Energy & Commerce Committee began a productive dialogue earlier this year. Further, Congress has begun seeking solutions. In particular, the baking industry hopes the work of Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA) and Steve Womack (R-AR) will continue to gain momentum in the House.”