Council, Ethanol Industry Leaders Meet With Officials In Japan

Since 1961, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has contributed to the rapid growth of the livestock and feed industries in Japan, increasing exports of U.S. feed grains to the nation and driving access to more and better protein for the Japanese people. While those commodities remain priorities for the Council’s work, increasing the awareness of U.S. ethanol and its benefits has become an important part of the organization’s work there as well.

Representatives from the Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently traveled to Japan to learn more about ethanol’s role in the local market and highlight the biofuel’s environmental benefits.

The Japanese and United States governments released a joint statement in May 2022 making a commitment to double ethanol consumption within Japan by 2030. The Council applauds this effort on behalf of the government of Japan to increase ethanol use within the country to both combat current inflationary pressures and to have an immediate impact on carbon reduction within the on-road transportation sector.

“While we have made great progress for U.S. ethanol in Japan, it is important the Council and its partners continue to work with leaders in the country to emphasize the health and environmental benefits of ethanol,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “We are excited to see what the future holds for ethanol in Japan.”

The group, consisting of LeGrand, USGC Past Chairman Chad Willis, USGC Director of Global Ethanol Export Development Mackenzie Boubin, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper, had the opportunity to tour a feed mill and port facility before meeting one-on-one with industry and government officials to discuss ethanol.

During these meetings, group members discussed the role ethanol has played in the United States, specifically highlighting the environmental benefits. By having organizational and farmer leaders and ethanol experts in the group, the discussions offered a wide array of perspectives on ethanol’s use and benefits, while touting the American experience in implementing ethanol use. Discussions also revolved around the current transition in the U.S. toward higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 and increased consumer and government adoption of bioethanol blends to mitigate both economic and environmental pressures.

“The U.S. first gained access to the Japanese ethanol market in 2017 and, since then, it has become one of our top 10 export customers. We are encouraged by recent developments regarding Japan’s commitment to double its ethanol consumption and will continue to offer insights and data surrounding ethanol’s benefits that can be provided to consumers, refiners, automakers and retailers. We look forward to further dialogue with Japanese industry and government entities on how to successfully transition to increased ethanol use,” Boubin said.

The Council and its partners are encouraged by the discussions that occurred in Japan and look forward to continuing to educate the market on increased U.S. ethanol use and its advantages.