Agribusiness giant cuts ties with Renewable Fuels Association

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014

Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. is ending its membership in the Renewable Fuels Association.

ADM informed the ethanol trade group of its decision late last week, according to an email sent by RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen to board members on Monday. The company, among the largest ethanol producers in the country, will leave the group effective Oct. 1 and has no immediate plans to join any other trade group, the email obtained by E&ENews PM said.

In an email, ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson confirmed the company’s departure and said it was due to evolution in the U.S. ethanol industry.

“As the U.S. ethanol industry has matured, the policy landscape has evolved,” Anderson said. “At the same time, the ways that we engage with others in the industry and in the public sector have also evolved. We regularly review our memberships.”

ADM’s departure will require the ethanol trade group to restructure its budget for fiscal 2015, Dinneen said in the email to board members. However, he wrote, “the core mission of the RFA can and will continue unaffected by this one company’s decision.”

The Renewable Fuels Association applauded the contribution of ADM to the ethanol industry in a follow-up email statement today.

“ADM has been a leader in the ethanol industry for over 30 years and we are grateful for their support of the industry through RFA during that time,” RFA said. “ADM will continue to be a leader and we are looking forward to working side-by-side with ADM and other industry leaders to promote policies that strengthen and grow the renewable fuel future.”

ADM, which said it was notifying the trade group now to let it adjust its budget for the coming fiscal year, also committed to remaining an “active participant” in policy discussions around ethanol.

“We are supporting a number of efforts to help the industry grow,” Anderson said, “and we will be exploring new and different channels to continue to engage in important policy discussions.”