Over 20 groups comprising processors, retail, environmental, hunger and food industry groups have launched a “Food Before Fuel” campaign urging Congress to revisit the nation’s food-to-fuel policies.
Campaign members are encouraging policymakers to “revisit and restructure policies that have increased our reliance on food as an energy source”.
Converting more than one-third of US corn to ethanol, with additional subsidies and tariffs further promoting the diversion of food to fuel, is currently mandated by Congressional policies. Reports state that these policies have contributed to record food price inflation. It is further reported that the International Monetary Fund says that the US food-to-fuel policy is responsible for more than 30% of food price inflation globally.
Severe impact on the industry
“The price of corn that our companies use to feed chickens has skyrocketed, costing billions of dollars,” said National Chicken Council President George Watts. “The impact on [the] industry has been severe.”
Other organisations involved with the campaign echoed Watts’ concerns. “It is past time to acknowledge the reality of this problem and begin a serious, bipartisan effort to fix it,” said CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Cal Dooley.
Other groups and companies involved in the Food Before Fuel campaign include the American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Turkey Federation, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits.