The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) launched “Feed Food Fairness: Take RFS Off the Menu,” a new grassroots campaign focused on repealing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the corn ethanol mandate. Coalition members joined with Virginia representative Bob Goodlatte, to expose the harmful economic effects of the RFS on American consumers, diners, and small business-owners and operators.
“The National Council of Chain Restaurants is committed to repealing the corn ethanol mandate and the Renewable Fuel Standard,” says Rob Green, NCCR executive director. “Today we are mobilizing the restaurant community to join this coalition - composed of small businesses owners, operators, franchisees, and the entire food supply chain - to urge Congress to repeal the flawed RFS. The law unfairly increases food and commodity costs for chain restaurants and ultimately American diners and shoppers across the country. It is time for small business to engage directly in this important debate and ask their lawmakers to take RFS off the menu.”
Coalition members and partners in attendance at the Capitol Hill news conference included chain restaurant companies, small business owners, operators and franchisees, and supply chain partners who each described how the RFS hurts their business, stifles economic growth, and adversely impacts consumers and diners.
“White Castle is a fourth generation family business,” says Lisa Ingram, president of White Castle. “We have seen firsthand how increasing food prices caused by the Renewable Fuel Standard affect not only our business, but American families who patronize our restaurants. In total, the RFS and corn ethanol mandate costs chain restaurants up to $3.2 billion annually.”
“I began my career in Jackson, Michigan, training to be a manager for a local franchise,” says Mark Behm, a Wendy’s franchise owner in Michigan. “Now nearly 40 years later, my partners and I own the franchise. We are in pursuit of the American dream. But operating a small business in the U.S. is hard, especially in Michigan and during these economic times. The federal ethanol mandate unfairly increases the cost of food across the board."
“The Renewable Fuel Standard has directly affected the supply and cost of feed in major agricultural sectors of this country, affecting the family ranch and farm,” adds Steve Foglesong, a cattle producer and former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Even in the wake of the worst drought in decades, the Environmental Protection Agency refused to grant relief through a waiver, making it apparent that the RFS is broken, and Congress needs to act. Cattlemen and women are not opposed to renewable fuels, but are seeking a level playing field to compete for a bushel of corn.”
“Feed Food Fairness” will mobilize a broad base of small business owners and operators and coalition members to urge Congress to pass the Renewable Fuel Standard Elimination Act (H.R. 1461), introduced by representative Goodlatte, which would repeal the federal RFS mandate.