The National Council of Chain Restaurants has asked Congress to repeal the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A Wendy’s restaurant franchisee spoke on behalf of the Council and informed Congress that the mandate to mix corn-based ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply is driving up food prices for restaurants and consumers.
“We’re appealing to Congress to provide relief from this policy which distorts food commodity markets and harms consumers and everyone in the food chain,” said Ed Anderson, who owns a Wendy’s franchise in Virginia. “Congress created the RFS, so it is up to Congress to repeal it.”
“We’ve worked for decades to build our business but when Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard it created a new burden for businesses like ours,” Anderson said. “Now restaurant owners and employers like us are being hurt at a time when our country can’t afford it.”
Anderson, who testified before a subcommittee hearing held by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said the ethanol mandate costs his company up to $34,000 in higher food costs at each location, or nearly $375,000 annually.
“That might not be a lot of money in Washington, D.C., but for me, and many others in the restaurant business, that’s a lot of money,” Anderson said.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by NCCR concluded that if the mandate is left unchanged, chain restaurant industry costs will increase by up to $3.2 billion a year. The RFS off the Menu campaign, a food-focused coalition led by NCCR and other food-industry stakeholders, is working to highlight the negative consequences of the mandate on the food supply chain.