With the food supply chain being impacted by a variety of issues, some food industry groups are claiming foodservice cannot get enough edible oil for cooking because oil is being diverted to biodiesel and a burgeoning renewable diesel market.
American Soybean Association CEO Stephen Censky says 86 million acres of soybeans are currently being harvested and a projected record 4.4 billion bushels. “Likewise, processors are gearing up to process more soy and assure adequate soy oil is available for food, feed and fuel: At least seven new oilseed processing plants are under development, and soybean oil production by the domestic processing industry is projected by USDA to reach a record level this year—on top of a 26% growth in supply over the last 10 years,” said Censky.
Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board said, “Biodiesel and renewable diesel production consistently support 13% of the value of every U.S. soybean bushel. Sustainable growth in our industry is also supporting new investments in domestic soybean crush capacity, which will translate into additional value for U.S. farmers and rural economies. A misguided attack on the Renewable Fuel Standard will simply undercut a valuable, stable market for the record harvest that soybean growers are achieving this year.”
Both NBB and ASA also have concerns that blaming inflationary pressures impacting the food and agriculture sector across all cost categories on renewable fuels expansion could affect support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. More than a dozen agriculture groups recently sent a letter to the White House identifying the key supply issues affecting agriculture and related industries as being labor, barge shipments, ports and shipping containers, trucking and rail freight, fertilizer, chemical inputs, energy, equipment and parts, and water availability.