Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Fwd: US farmers urge Obama admin. to suspend ethanol quota



Begin forwarded message:

US farmers urge Obama administration to suspend ethanol quota amid drought
EPA's requirements for corn ethanol will drive food prices even higher after an already distressed harvest, growers warn
Keith Beall harvests drought-stressed corn beyond the reach of the field's irrigation system, in Eatonton, Georgia. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

The Obama administration was urged on Monday to stop diverting grain to gas amid warnings of an "imminent food crisis" caused by America'sdrought.

US government forecasts of a 4% rise in food prices for US consumers because of the drought have sharpened criticism of supports for producing fuel from corn-based ethanol.

Meanwhile, research published last week by the New England Complex Systems Institute warned of an "imminent food crisis" because of the diversion of corn stocks to ethanol.

"Necsi has warned for months that misguided food-to-ethanol conversion programs and rampant commodity speculation have created a food price bubble, leading to an inevitable spike in prices by 2013. Now it appears the "crop shock" will arrive even sooner due to drought, unless measures to curb ethanol production and rein in speculators are adopted immediately," the researchers warned.

In the latest move, the country's meat, dairy and poultry producers called on the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend this year's quotas for corn ethanol production.

"The extraordinary and disastrous circumstances created for livestock and poultry producers by the ongoing drought in the heart of our grain growing regions requires that all relevant measures of relief be explored," said the petition to the EPA's administrator Lisa Jackson.

It went on to warn that the requirement for corn ethanol production was further beating up corn prices, which were already at record levels because of the drought in the mid-west.

"We are worried about having enough corn, soybean and other crops at any price to feed our animals," Randy Spronk, the president of the National Pork Producers Association told a conference call with reporters.

Producers were already scaling back production, and some could be forced out of business entirely, said John Burkel, president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers' Association. "Even the most prudent and cautious producer could be put out of business," he said.

Under the EPA's renewable fuel standard programme, oil companies are required to dilute their gasoline with increasing amounts of biofuel every year. This year's mandate calls for the production of 13.2bn gallons of biofuels – almost all of it produced from corn.

Food security experts and international aid organisations have also warned that ethanol could be tightening up supplies and pushing up prices in the global food market during the drought.

Demand for corn ethanol was seen as a key driver of the 2007 and 2008 global food crisis.

About 40% of America's corn crop went for ethanol last year – although the refineries then sell on "distillers' grain" as animal feed.

But with expectations for a smaller harvest this year, there are fears ethanol will consume an even bigger share of the crop.

That will price corn out of reach of livestock producers as well as countries which rely heavily on imported grains, food security experts say.

Ethanol producers have already reduced production by more than 15% this year, and many refineries across the mid-west have closed because of high corn prices.

The National Corn Growers Association, which supports corn ethanol production, said in a statement that it was "premature" to suspend the incentive. "With the crop still in the field, it is too early to determine this year's final corn supply," it said in a statement.


My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] US farmers urge Obama administration to suspend ethanol quota





http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/farmers-obama-administration-ethanol-drought

US farmers urge Obama administration to suspend ethanol quota amid drought

EPA's requirements for corn ethanol will drive food prices even higher after an already distressed harvest, growers warn

corn drought us food
Keith Beall harvests drought-stressed corn beyond the reach of the field's irrigation system, in Eatonton, Georgia. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

The Obama administration was urged on Monday to stop diverting grain to gas amid warnings of an "imminent food crisis" caused by America'sdrought.

US government forecasts of a 4% rise in food prices for US consumers because of the drought have sharpened criticism of supports for producing fuel from corn-based ethanol.

Meanwhile, research published last week by the New England Complex Systems Institute warned of an "imminent food crisis" because of the diversion of corn stocks to ethanol.

"Necsi has warned for months that misguided food-to-ethanol conversion programs and rampant commodity speculation have created a food price bubble, leading to an inevitable spike in prices by 2013. Now it appears the "crop shock" will arrive even sooner due to drought, unless measures to curb ethanol production and rein in speculators are adopted immediately," the researchers warned.

In the latest move, the country's meat, dairy and poultry producers called on the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend this year's quotas for corn ethanol production.

"The extraordinary and disastrous circumstances created for livestock and poultry producers by the ongoing drought in the heart of our grain growing regions requires that all relevant measures of relief be explored," said the petition to the EPA's administrator Lisa Jackson.

It went on to warn that the requirement for corn ethanol production was further beating up corn prices, which were already at record levels because of the drought in the mid-west.

"We are worried about having enough corn, soybean and other crops at any price to feed our animals," Randy Spronk, the president of the National Pork Producers Association told a conference call with reporters.

Producers were already scaling back production, and some could be forced out of business entirely, said John Burkel, president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers' Association. "Even the most prudent and cautious producer could be put out of business," he said.

Under the EPA's renewable fuel standard programme, oil companies are required to dilute their gasoline with increasing amounts of biofuel every year. This year's mandate calls for the production of 13.2bn gallons of biofuels – almost all of it produced from corn.

Food security experts and international aid organisations have also warned that ethanol could be tightening up supplies and pushing up prices in the global food market during the drought.

Demand for corn ethanol was seen as a key driver of the 2007 and 2008 global food crisis.

About 40% of America's corn crop went for ethanol last year – although the refineries then sell on "distillers' grain" as animal feed.

But with expectations for a smaller harvest this year, there are fears ethanol will consume an even bigger share of the crop.

That will price corn out of reach of livestock producers as well as countries which rely heavily on imported grains, food security experts say.

Ethanol producers have already reduced production by more than 15% this year, and many refineries across the mid-west have closed because of high corn prices.

The National Corn Growers Association, which supports corn ethanol production, said in a statement that it was "premature" to suspend the incentive. "With the crop still in the field, it is too early to determine this year's final corn supply," it said in a statement.



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Monday, July 30, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Biofuels: Drought, searing heat reignite food-fuel debate -- 07/27/2012 -- www.eenews.net





http://eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2012/07/27/1



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Honduras Land Conflict Claims Another Victim






Honduras Land Conflict Claims Another Victim

TEGUCIGALPA – One of the 200 peasants taking part in an occupation of a palm-oil plantation in Bajo Aguan, a region on Honduras' Caribbean coast, was killed Friday by private security guards, his comrades said.

Guards at the Los Laureles property unleashed a "massive" volley of gunfire against 37-year-old Israel Garcia, the leader of the Muca peasants organization told Efe.

"People who were near him saw when the security guards shot him," Yoni Rivas said, adding that three other Muca members were missing.

The long-running conflict over land in Bajo Aguan will not be solved by "militarizing, murdering and repressing," according to the Muca leader, who urged Honduran President Porfirio Lobo to foster a dialogue aimed at settling the dispute.

Lobo, however, said Friday that he plans to deal with the strife in Bajo Aguan "as a problem of national security."

In a speech in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, the president claimed that some of those demanding land in Bajo Aguan are not peasants.

A security guard was shot and wounded last Friday when the Muca members invaded Los Laureles, which is run by the Dinant corporation on behalf of magnate Miguel Facusse, one of the richest people in Honduras.

Last year, the Honduran government, plantation owners and Muca signed an accord calling for more than 4,000 hectares (9,876 acres) of land to be distributed among landless families in Bajo Aguan.

The agreement has yet to be implemented and around 60 people have died during the last four years in the conflict pitting peasants against private security guards employed by the palm-oil barons, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

Most of those killed have been peasants.

The Lobo administration sent troops and police to the region last October, but the presence of security forces has failed to stop the violence.

Under a new pact signed by Lobo on June 5, the government pledges $17 million to purchase 2,429 hectares of land from the Bajo Aguan plantation owners for distribution among poor peasants. EFE


__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Ethanol Lobby Expects Opponents to Ask EPA to Suspend Law - Bloomberg





http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-30/ethanol-lobby-expects-opponents-to-ask-epa-to-suspend-law-1-.html



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Chile: Campaign against tree monoculture expansion





From World Rainforest Movement Bulletin 180, July 2012,www.wrm.org.uy

-Chile: Campaign against tree monoculture expansion

In Chile, the onslaught of big forestry business groups backed by the state means more than 3 million hectares covered with industrial monocultures of pines and eucalyptus.

Industrial plantations have reported multimillion profits to groups such as Matte, owner of Forestal Mininco CMPC, or Angelini, owner of Forestal Arauco. This has been at the expense of having usurped Mapuche lands and caused havoc with the aforementioned exotic species that have reduced the water of streams and groundwater by increasing the incidence of drought, have eroded the soils and replaced farmland and forests. The result is that, given the lack of arable land and water loss, much of the rural population migrates to cities, often collapsing due to lack of employment and real opportunities.

The regions where there are more areas occupied by tree plantations are the ones that concentrate the highest rates of migration and impoverishment of the population. In particular, the south-central region of Chile has been the scenario for plantations expansion, mainly over the ancestral territory of the Mapuche, who have defended their land rights resisting the advance of forest plantations, facing repression, prison and death.

There is now a new offensive of the forestry sector, which is seeking to double the area of plantations in the short-term. For such a purpose they seek to annex the lands of "smallholders," meaning land of peasants and Mapuche communities.

Organizations throughout Chile have denounced these intentions through a public letter (1) in which they call on peasants and Mapuche communities to be alert to the attempts by forestry companies and government agents and not allowing the introduction of pine and eucalyptus plantations over their territory.

Mapuexpress and Adkimvn Communications have adhered to the call by organizing an information campaign for which they have prepared audiovisual and audio spots (2) to contribute to the generation of information and raise alarm and awareness for the protection of life and livelihoods, inviting to disseminate and replicate these materials.

Mapuexpress warn that in "these days, representatives from the forestry corporations and government agents will visit rural families homes praising the supposed benefits that pine and eucalyptus would bring and offering plants FOR FREE! They would even offer money bonuses. We need to be on the alert and defend our territories and our traditional practices ... the Earth". As Mapuexpress says: "Allowing the introduction of pine and eucalyptus is in any case short-term gain, long term pain. And allowing tree monocultures is allowing the pulp industry that always comes along with plantation and is one of the most polluting industries on earth".

So as the organizations say in the public letter, "to say no to the introduction of pine and eucalyptus is about defending life, agricultural land, food sovereignty; diversity and equality, culture, dignity for the people ... "

(1) Public letter from Chilean organizations, available in Spanish at http://www.mapuexpress.net/content/news/print.php?id=8073 (Organizaciones de todo Chile hacen un llamado a Sectores Campesinos y Comunidades Mapuche a No introducir más Pinos y Eucaliptus en los territorios)

(2) The campaign video spots are available in Spanish at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPC-gfRloas , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH8WMKNXNNw , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u349Xv1FDI&feature=youtu.be



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Gabon: Resisting Olam land grabbing for oil palm plantations





From World Rainforest Movement Bulletin 180, July 2012,www.wrm.org.uy

Gabon: Resisting Olam land grabbing for oil palm plantations

Oil palm has traditionally been part of the culture of West and Central African communities, who have planted it on their own lands or collected its fruits, leaves or sap from the forest. The native crop has been locally processed to obtain palm oil for domestic use or sold in the local markets to produce palm wine (see the WRM briefing "Oil palm in Africa: Past, present and future scenarios", http://wrm.org.uy/countries/Africa/Oil_Palm_in_Africa.html).

But the international demand for palm oil – and more recently agrofuels – has brought land-hungry capital to Africa seeking to plant vast areas of land with large-scale industrial oil palm plantations. African governments are opening the doors to the corporations, and a result, local communities are losing their rights over their territories.

In Gabon, the organization Brainforest has sounded the alert that the new Gabonese authorities are granting large areas of land under concession to the Singapore-based company Olam. Ancestral lands are being sold off in violation of peoples' rights in order to plant vast areas of monoculture oil palm plantations, one of the business lines of this global integrated supply-chain agribusiness corporation which trades 20 agricultural products and food ingredients.

Brainforest has launched a campaign to collect signatures to stop Olam's industrial oil palm plantations, at http://www.brainforestgabon.org/news_fiche.php?id=16#.UAbg4aDs3KT

Another Gabonese organization, Attac Gabon, issued a press release (1) on June 5 denouncing that the failure of international negotiations on climate change and the commodification of the climate crisis through false solutions like the concept of a "green economy" will eventually destroy the socio-cultural fabric of communities and undermine national sovereignties.

According to the press release, "In Gabon, the phenomenon takes on dizzying proportions when you consider that over 300,000 hectares of land are already being turned over to multinationals. A general mobilization is needed to enforce the rights of communities over their land."

Meanwhile, FERN (2) has reported that on June 8, some 40 civil society activists including Marc Ona Essangui, director of Brainforest and winner of the Goldman Prize (a sort of "Green Nobel Prize"), were arrested in Gabon for organizing a demonstration they called the "Counter-Forum". The demonstration – forbidden by the Gabonese authorities – aimed to highlight the pervasive corruption and lack of democracy and accountability in the oil-rich Central African country during the New York Forum Africa, held in Gabon June 8-10. At issue are land tenure problems, the expulsion of local communities in the province of Woleu Ntem, and land grabs by palm oil companies.

Under international pressure, the government offered to release Ona the same day, but he refused to leave until they released all who had been arrested. All of the arrested protestors were later released.

(1) Notre terre, leur Business!, Attac Gabon, Press release, 5 June 2012, http://www.facebook.com/notes/attac-gabon/notre-terre-leur-business-communiqu%C3%A9-de-presse-dattac-gabon/10150840486325069

(2) EU Forest Watch Issue 172, June 2012, FERN, http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/FW%20172%20june%202012%20for%20website.pdf



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Phillipines: Oil palm company A. Brown grabs Higaonon indigenous people’s lands





From World Rainforest Movement Bulletin 180, July 2012,www.wrm.org.uy 

MONOCULTURE TREE PLANTATIONS AND COMMUNITIES

-Phillipines: Oil palm company A. Brown grabs Higaonon indigenous people's lands

The Philippine A. Brown Company, Inc. is engaged in the business of oil palm plantation development and milling. In 2010, the company started planting oil palm on 520 hectares of public land claimed by the Higaonon indigenous people.

The Higaonon people of the barangays (villages) of Bagocboc and Tingalan in the municipality of Opol, in the southern Philippine province of Misamis Oriental, claim that they have been occupying these lands since before the Spanish colonial era. Their ancestors hunted animals, gathered honey and kept small portions of land for agriculture, maintaining their unique culture. Although the Higaonon were displaced in the 1950s to make way for the logging and livestock grazing ventures of landlords, they kept coming back to their lands, making them productive.

A. Brown entered the Higaonon people's land to establish an oil palm plantation without obtaining their free, prior and informed consent. This land grab has involved numerous human rights violations, including the shooting and illegal arrest of farmers, burning of houses, uprooting of crops, harassment and death threats.

All of this was revealed by an International Fact-Finding Mission (IFFM) that began last May 6 and was conducted by the Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), the Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP), the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC), Sentro Kitanglad, Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization and other organizations based in Opol.

The IFFM discovered that A. Brown does not yet have a permit to operate in the said area. Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the government agency has not issued any permit for these operations, which means the company is violating existing forestry and environmental laws.

The findings of the IFFM were presented in a public forum at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, where demands were reiterated for the pull-out of A. Brown from Opol and the immediate return of the indigenous peoples to their ancestral land. They also called for the investigation of human rights violations against the Higaonon (see the IFFM findings at http://www.panap.net/en/fs/post/food-sovereignty-resistance-land-grabbing/1069).

The establishment of large-scale oil palm plantations also undermines the Higaonon people's food sovereignty. "With our lands being taken away, our families left to starve, and our rights violated, we have no choice but to fight. As indigenous peoples, we have the right to land, yet this has continuously been denied to us," said Rubenson Batuto, whose family has lived in Tingalan since the pre-Spanish colonization era.

Agrochemicals applied in the company's industrial oil palm plantations, including carbofuran and glyphosate, are gradually affecting the health of the Higaonon; residents of Opol have reported an increase in the incidence of coughs and colds, skin diseases, diarrhea and other illnesses since the plantation started spraying pesticides. In addition, their coconut and banana trees – their only source of livelihood – have been slowly dying since the plantation's entry.

Erwin Navarro of PAN AP warned of the social, cultural, health and environmental impacts of large-scale oil palm plantations, which have expanded in other Asian countries, bulldozing forests and displacing numerous indigenous peoples. Now, industrial oil palm plantations are entering the Philippines to become a major export crop, as is also the case in the municipalities of Española, Quezon and Brooke's Point in Palawan, denounced by the Philippines-based advocacy campaign network of indigenous peoples ALDAW and reported this year in WRM Bulletin Nº 174.

A campaign is being carried out to gather signatures for a petition calling on the Philippine government to oust A. Brown immediately from Opol; to stop human rights violations, as well as punish the perpetrators and indemnify the victims; and to stop the desecration of sacred sites. The petition also demands that A. Brown, together with all concerned units and agencies of the Philippine government, clean up and rehabilitate the contaminated areas, provide immediate economic relief to the farmers, and follow the free, prior and informed consent process.

You are invited to support the farmers and indigenous peoples of Opol in reclaiming their lands by signing the petition letter at http://www.panap.net/en/fs/page/food-sovereignty/1130

Globally, the expansion of oil palm has been made possible through land grabbing, land use conversion, and rapid deforestation. Displaced farmers and indigenous peoples have been forced to become agricultural workers in oil palm plantations. Oil palm expansion has in general brought about increased hunger and poverty while benefitting only a few private interests.

Article based on information from: "Palm oil plantation in Misamis Oriental has no right to occupy indigenous lands, IFFM says", Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), http://www.panap.net/en/fs/post/food-sovereignty-resistance-land-grabbing/1070



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Re: [FOEI_agrofuels] Norway: Palm oil consumption reduced by two thirds



Dear all,

Congratulations with this campaign! I'd like to know, what was the
palmoil replaced by?
best, Nina

Anabela Lemos wrote:
> that great news and quite insuring, given us hope that we can make the
> change ... although in Mozambique with all that is been happen....
> quite scary
>
> On Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 6:13 PM, simone lovera <simonelovera@yahoo.com
> <mailto:simonelovera@yahoo.com>> wrote:
>
> Dear Nils,
>
> This is really fantastic, congratulations on this success! I am
> copying colleagues who work on palm oil, soy, tree plantations and
> other monocultures, as I think this is a great example of how a
> clearcut campaign that "simply" focuses on the reduction of the
> consumption of such damaging products can be successful.
> Especially in discussions about the value of certification systems
> and industry-led roundtables it is often argued that such
> reduction would not be feasible. Thus, it is suggested that making
> production more 'sustainable' would be the only manner to address
> negative impacts.
>
> I guess this concrete example will be inspiring for all of us!
>
> Best wishes,
> Simone
>
>
> On Jul 27, 2012, at 5:46 AM, Nils Hermann Ranum wrote:
>
>> FYI, an article about the very good results so far of RFN's
>> ongoing palm oil campaign, targeting companies supplying food for
>> the Norwegian market.
>> http://www.regnskog.no/languages/english/norway-palm-oil-consumption-reduced-by-two-thirds
>>
>>
>> Norway: Palm oil consumption reduced by two thirds
>>
>> Norwegian food producers used 15 000 tons of palm oil in 2011. A
>> successful campaign mobilizing public pressure has reduced
>> consumption by two thirds.
>>
>> The palm oil industry is the main cause of rainforest destruction
>> in Indonesia and Malaysia. 88 percent of the world's palm oil is
>> produced in these two countries, including palm oil for the
>> Norwegian market.
>>
>> Last autumn, Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) launched a
>> campaign with two aims; to reduce Norwegian palm oil consumption
>> and to expose the link between deforestation and the production
>> of this vegetable oil. The campaign, which was developed in
>> collaboration with the organization Green Living, targeted all
>> major food producers in Norway.
>>
>> - The response has been overwhelming, says Lars Løvold, Director
>> of Rainforest Foundation Norway. Thanks to Norwegian consumers,
>> the use of palm oil in Norwegian food products has decreased by
>> two thirds.
>>
>> An inspiring example
>> Producers were asked to disclose details about their use of palm
>> oil, and whether the palm oil was sourced from sustainable
>> sources. Norwegian law obliges companies to provide such
>> information, if it is considered relevant for environmental
>> concerns. The results of the investigation were published in a
>> "palm oil guide", a unique web-based tool where consumers can
>> check the occurrence of palm oil in Norwegian food products.
>> Previously, this information was unavailable, and the use of palm
>> oil concealed as "vegetable oil" or "vegetable fat".
>>
>> The campaign received extensive media coverage, resulting in
>> increased consumer awareness. Norwegian food producers responded
>> rapidly, significantly reducing their use of palm oil. Eight
>> major producers have cut their consumption with some 9 600 tons –
>> a reduction of nearly two thirds of the total consumption of 15
>> 000 tons. In 2011 every Norwegian inadvertently consumed three
>> kilos of palm oil through food products. From now on they will
>> only consume one kilo per year.
>>
>> - This is very good news both for the rainforest, its inhabitants
>> and for Norwegians. Palm oil production represents a major threat
>> against the rainforest and local communities depending on the
>> forest. Norwegian companies are setting an inspiring example
>> which needs to be followed by others, says Løvold.
>>
>> Need to change global policies
>> Several companies have completely abandoned the use of palm oil.
>> The Norwegian company Stabburet used to be one of the largest
>> buyers of palm oil, but has now established a policy to avoid all
>> use. The largest buyer, Mills, has reduced its use by 95 per cent
>> as of June this year.
>>
>> - We are very pleased with the results of the campaign, comments
>> Løvold. – I don't believe that similar large scale reductions in
>> the use of palm oil have been obtained in any other country.
>>
>> Despite the good results, there is still work to be done. Some
>> food producers continue to use palm oil in their products and
>> show little willingness to search for alternatives.
>>
>> The campaign has so far only targeted food sold in grocery stores
>> – not in restaurants and fast food chains. Palm oil is also used
>> in a wide range of other products, such as cosmetics, animal
>> feed, detergents and biofuels.
>>
>> Løvold would like to see the campaign contributing to reducing
>> the global consumption of palm oil. Many of the food producers
>> for the Norwegian market are multinational companies. If these
>> companies would change their global policies, this would really
>> make a difference. Hence, Rainforest Foundation Norway urges
>> consumers to continue fighting for rainforest friendly food.
>>
>> Norwegian food producers have demonstrated that it is possible to
>> produce and sell food without palm oil, avoiding complicity in
>> rainforest destruction. The experience from Norway should inspire
>> consumers globally to demand food products which do not
>> contribute to rainforest destruction, says Lars Løvold.
>>
>> ___
>> Nils Hermann Ranum
>>
>> Avdelingsleder policy og kampanje
>> Head of policy and campaign division
>> Regnskogfondet - Rainforest Foundation Norway
>>
>> Tel: (+47) 23 10 95 04 <tel:%28%2B47%29%2023%2010%2095%2004>
>> Mob: (+47) 99 00 10 32 <tel:%28%2B47%29%2099%2000%2010%2032>
>> Address: Grensen 9b, 0159 Oslo, Norway
>> mailto:nils.hermann@rainforest.no
>> Skype: nils.hermann-rfn
>> http://www.rainforest.no
>> http://twitter.com/RainforestNORW
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Accra mailing list
>> Info and
>> options: http://mailman.greennet.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/accra
>> To unsubscribe, email accra-unsubscribe@gn.apc.org
>> <mailto:accra-unsubscribe@gn.apc.org>
>
>



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/join
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
biofuelwatch-digest@yahoogroups.com
biofuelwatch-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
biofuelwatch-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

My Privacy...

Friday, July 27, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Norway: Palm oil consumption reduced by two thirds





Dear Nils,

This is really fantastic, congratulations on this success! I am copying colleagues who work on palm oil, soy, tree plantations and other monocultures, as I think this is a great example of how a clearcut campaign that "simply" focuses on the reduction of the consumption of such damaging products can be successful. Especially in discussions about the value of certification systems and industry-led roundtables it is often argued that such reduction would not be feasible. Thus, it is suggested that making production more 'sustainable' would be the only manner to address negative impacts.

I guess this concrete example will be inspiring for all of us!

Best wishes,
Simone


On Jul 27, 2012, at 5:46 AM, Nils Hermann Ranum wrote:

FYI, an article about the very good results so far of RFN's ongoing palm oil campaign, targeting companies supplying food for the Norwegian market.
 
 
Norway: Palm oil consumption reduced by two thirds
 
Norwegian food producers used 15 000 tons of palm oil in 2011. A successful campaign mobilizing public pressure has reduced consumption by two thirds.
 
The palm oil industry is the main cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. 88 percent of the world's palm oil is produced in these two countries, including palm oil for the Norwegian market.
 
Last autumn, Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) launched a campaign with two aims; to reduce Norwegian palm oil consumption and to expose the link between deforestation and the production of this vegetable oil. The campaign, which was developed in collaboration with the organization Green Living, targeted all major food producers in Norway. 
 
- The response has been overwhelming, says Lars Løvold, Director of Rainforest Foundation Norway. Thanks to Norwegian consumers, the use of palm oil in Norwegian food products has decreased by two thirds.
 
An inspiring example
Producers were asked to disclose details about their use of palm oil, and whether the palm oil was sourced from sustainable sources. Norwegian law obliges companies to provide such information, if it is considered relevant for environmental concerns. The results of the investigation were published in a "palm oil guide", a unique web-based tool where consumers can check the occurrence of palm oil in Norwegian food products. Previously, this information was unavailable, and the use of palm oil concealed as "vegetable oil" or "vegetable fat". 
 
The campaign received extensive media coverage, resulting in increased consumer awareness. Norwegian food producers responded rapidly, significantly reducing their use of palm oil. Eight major producers have cut their consumption with some 9 600 tons – a reduction of nearly two thirds of the total consumption of 15 000 tons. In 2011 every Norwegian inadvertently consumed three kilos of palm oil through food products. From now on they will only consume one kilo per year.
 
- This is very good news both for the rainforest, its inhabitants and for Norwegians. Palm oil production represents a major threat against the rainforest and local communities depending on the forest. Norwegian companies are setting an inspiring example which needs to be followed by others, says Løvold.
 
Need to change global policies
Several companies have completely abandoned the use of palm oil. The Norwegian company Stabburet used to be one of the largest buyers of palm oil, but has now established a policy to avoid all use. The largest buyer, Mills, has reduced its use by 95 per cent as of June this year.
 
- We are very pleased with the results of the campaign, comments Løvold. – I don't believe that similar large scale reductions in the use of palm oil have been obtained in any other country. 
 
Despite the good results, there is still work to be done. Some food producers continue to use palm oil in their products and show little willingness to search for alternatives. 
 
The campaign has so far only targeted food sold in grocery stores – not in restaurants and fast food chains. Palm oil is also used in a wide range of other products, such as cosmetics, animal feed, detergents and biofuels.
 
Løvold would like to see the campaign contributing to reducing the global consumption of palm oil. Many of the food producers for the Norwegian market are multinational companies. If these companies would change their global policies, this would really make a difference. Hence, Rainforest Foundation Norway urges consumers to continue fighting for rainforest friendly food.
 
Norwegian food producers have demonstrated that it is possible to produce and sell food without palm oil, avoiding complicity in rainforest destruction. The experience from Norway should inspire consumers globally to demand food products which do not contribute to rainforest destruction, says Lars Løvold.
 
___
Nils Hermann Ranum

Avdelingsleder policy og kampanje
Head of policy and campaign division
Regnskogfondet - Rainforest Foundation Norway

Tel: (+47) 23 10 95 04
Mob: (+47) 99 00 10 32
Address: Grensen 9b, 0159 Oslo, Norway
mailto:nils.hermann@rainforest.no
Skype: nils.hermann-rfn
http://www.rainforest.no
 
_______________________________________________
Accra mailing list
Info and options: http://mailman.greennet.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/accra
To unsubscribe, email accra-unsubscribe@gn.apc.org



__._,_.___


Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional
Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Daily Digest | Switch to Fully Featured
Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe

__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Chart from WSJ ethanol story [1 Attachment]



<*>[Attachment(s) from Brian Tokar included below]

This wasn't quite readable in my earlier post:

>


<*>Attachment(s) from Brian Tokar:


<*> 1 of 1 File(s) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/attachments/folder/1869682101/item/list
<*> PastedGraphic-9.tiff

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/join
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
biofuelwatch-digest@yahoogroups.com
biofuelwatch-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
biofuelwatch-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] US Ethanol makers losing money



Today's Wall St. Journal:


Ethanol Makers' Long Hot Summer

Sluggish Fuel Sales, Spike in Corn Prices Lead to Spate of Plant Idlings Across the Farm Belt

Record corn prices and sluggish gasoline demand are squeezing profits for U.S. ethanol companies, prompting some producers to idle plants or slow production.

Valero Energy Corp., VLO +2.33% Abengoa Bioenergy US Holding Inc. ABG.MC -1.55%and Nedak Ethanol LLC have idled plants since mid-June, citing poor market conditions for the corn-based fuel additive. And Archer Daniels Midland Co., ADM +1.76% the biggest U.S. ethanol producer by capacity, said that its ethanol margins had eroded to a loss of well over 20 cents a gallon.

Ethanol makers are grappling with higher spot prices for corn amid tight domestic supplies, due to disappointing crop yields in the last two years and continued strong export demand, including from China.

Meanwhile, their hopes for some price relief this autumn have diminished as a drought in the Farm Belt has withered the current corn crop, driving corn-futures prices to all-time highs last week. Prices have eased this week but are still up roughly 42% since early June.

The ethanol sector consumes about 40% of U.S. corn output.

At the same time, gasoline demand has been lackluster during the peak summer travel season. The average U.S. price at the fuel pump has dipped to about $3.49 a gallon recently from a 2012 peak of $3.94 a gallon in early April, according to the Energy Information Administration. But motor-gasoline demand is still falling modestly after a 2.8% drop last year, the EIA said.

The profit squeeze for the $45 billion U.S. ethanol industry is one more reflection of how a weak economic recovery is depressing consumer demand and corporate profits. It also highlights how ethanol producers face continued pressure since the expiration last December of a federal subsidy for ethanol blenders.

AJ Mast for The Wall Street Journal

A truck delivers corn at the Poet ethanol plant in Cloverdale, Ind., in December 2011.

Ethanol production in the week through July 20 dropped to 796,000 barrels a day, down 0.7% from the preceding week and 9.9% from a month earlier, hitting a record low for the second straight week.

The Energy Information Administration started issuing the data in June 2010. Production already was on track to decline in 2012—the first annual drop since 1996.

Archer Daniels Midland Chief Executive Patricia Woertz in June said the company's ethanol margins had fallen to a loss in the "high 20s" per gallon, compared with a loss of 13 to 15 cents a gallon in early May. ADM will report its fiscal-fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.

In a survey of about 60 ethanol plants by Christianson & Associates PLLP, an accounting firm in Willmar, Minn., the middle half generally broke even during the first quarter this year, while the least-efficient 25% lost an average of 25 cents per gallon producing ethanol.

The slump could lead more ethanol companies to idle plants this summer—and could trigger bankruptcies and greater industry consolidation if it's protracted, analysts say.

"Even the most profitable plants out there are barely breaking even in the current environment," said Matthew Farwell, a New York-based analyst for Imperial Capital LLC.

At this point, analysts and industry executives don't expect a downturn as dramatic as in 2008, when similar challenges sank ethanol margins.

At that time, many producers were recently formed and had poor risk-hedging strategies, which led some to file for bankruptcy when corn prices soared. Among them was VeraSun Energy Corp., whose bankruptcy ultimately led oil refiner Valero to enter the ethanol market by purchasing a group of VeraSun ethanol plants.

But the margin squeeze has increased pressure on companies already wrestling with the fallout from the expiration of the federal subsidy at the end of last year, worth $6 billion annually.

The subsidy granted fuel blenders, like Chevron Corp. and Phillips 66 PSX +1.58% —formerly part of ConocoPhillips COP +2.18% —a tax credit of 45 cents per gallon of ethanol they blended. Its expiration resulted in a supply glut that hasn't abated, after inventories ballooned late last year as producers rushed to take advantage of the subsidy before it ended. Sluggish gasoline demand is exacerbating the glut.

Another major factor limiting ethanol demand from blenders is a government rule that, until recently, capped ethanol's share of gasoline at 10%. While that cap has been raised to 15%, auto makers and gas stations generally have yet to adopt that standard.

And although federal mandates require 13.2 billion gallons of conventional biofuels—a category dominated by ethanol—to be blended into transportation fuel this year, that doesn't mean there is a floor on ethanol demand. Blenders can also meet their requirements using credits stored up from earlier surplus use.

In late June, Valero, the third-largest U.S. ethanol producer in terms of capacity, idled two of its 10 plants, in Linden, Ind., and Albion, Neb., citing poor margins but says it expects to resume production at the plants before the corn harvest this fall, as long as market conditions improve.

Valero reported operating income of $9 million for its ethanol business in the three months through March, down from $44 million a year earlier.

Abengoa, an affiliate of Spanish energy company Abengoa SA ES -7.10% and another large producer, idled a Nebraska plant earlier this month, the third of its six plants to be idled this year.

In June, Nedak, a smaller ethanol company, suspended production at its lone Nebraska plant, citing high local corn prices and weak gasoline demand.

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc., GPRE -13.01% the fourth-biggest U.S. ethanol producer, slowed production at two of its plants that use less-efficient processing technology early this year, cutting its ethanol output by about 5%. And Pacific EthanolInc., PEIX -5.96% a smaller producer based in Sacramento, Calif., cut its capacity by about 10% early this year.

"I think we'll continue to contract," Todd Becker, chief executive of Omaha, Neb.-based Green Plains, said in a recent interview. "We have to get into a point where stocks are tighter and production is lower."

In a sign that ethanol production could remain depressed for months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month trimmed by 2% its forecast for corn demand from the ethanol industry in the year that will begin Sept. 1.

Valero spokesman Bill Daly said that "this summer, with margins being what they are currently, it wouldn't surprise me to see others scale back production or temporarily shut down."

Write to Owen Fletcher at owen.fletcher@dowjones.com


My Privacy...