Since the 1970s when U.S. farm policy encouraged farmers to overproduce and “get big or get out”, family farmers have struggled just to survive. They are told that biofuels programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard will help them by increasing both demand for corn and the price farmers are paid. But these biofuels mandates only prop up the industrial agribusiness system. Farmers are not getting the fair prices they need.
This report examines the impact of agribusiness and biofuels programs on family farmers and rural communities in Iowa, which produces more corn than many countries and has a strong family farm history.... read more
A trip down a dusty dirt road in northern Argentina provides a picture of the reality of the modern biodiesel industry. On the left-hand side lies a pristine forest, teeming with wildlife: howler monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars. On the right, new soy fields are being carved into pristine forest. Burnt trees and the white ash they leave behind stretch for as far as the eye can see.... read more
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created by the US Congress in 2005 in an effort to minimize fossil fuels emissions in the United States. But as global demand for food-based biofuels has increased, so have food prices and the demand for land and water. A number of reforms must take place to ensure that the RFS, which requires the consumption of increasing amounts of biofuels, does not increase hunger or undermine human rights around the world.... read more
Biofuels are considered to be a renewable resource because their feedstocks can be reproduced in a relatively short amount of time and they are not fossil fuel-based. However, these facts alone do not capture the full impact – either environmentally or socially – or establish the sustainability of biofuels.... read more