USGC Ethanol Team, CEO Take Part in Netherlands ATM

In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Trade Mission (ATM) that took place last week in the Netherlands, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) organized an ethanol policy and infrastructure assessment mission to discuss the country’s current ethanol policy, implementation and consumption within the broader European Union (EU).

The Netherlands was the fourth-largest U.S. ethanol export destination for marketing year (MY) 2021/2022, totaling more than 103 million gallons of ethanol, up 128 percent from the previous MY. The Netherlands was also the third-largest consumer of fuel ethanol, maintained a consistent E10 nationwide policy in 2019 and has opportunities for expanded use of E85.

“While there are challenges in the European market, there are also opportunities. Stakeholders in the Netherlands understand that biofuels will be necessary to decarbonize the transportation fleet into 2030 and beyond. The engagements during this meeting helped us better understand the systems, both political and technical, that support the use to bioethanol in the Netherlands and the broader European Union,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand.

By taking part in the ATM, the Council expanded its base of support and connections within the USDA cooperator network. Having side meetings allowed the Council to expand its influence and increase its effectiveness within the EU. The mission helped provide enhanced exposure and visibility among USDA stakeholders and decision makers while showcasing the Council’s presence and ethanol activities within the region.

“Participating in USDA’s agricultural trade missions is an opportunity to connect with other cooperators while we also expand our knowledge of these unique markets. The EU continues to be a growing opportunity for increased member state ethanol consumption and discussions with decision makers on pathways forward to further adoption incentives and best practices remains critical to the Council’s ethanol expansion efforts,” said Mackenzie Boubin, USGC director of global ethanol export development.

While conducting side meetings in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Council was able to make introductions and build on relationships with local suppliers, importers and retail entities, as well as engage with the Netherland’s ministerial organizations that oversee bioethanol policies and blending metrics.

“Connecting with organizations and individuals in the EU that understand the sustainability and importance of bioethanol is critical to create a united front to combat the misinformation consumers often hear from sources unfamiliar with the industry. First-generation ethanol is a low carbon fuel that member states can use here and now to decrease their emissions while positively impacting the consumer. At the same time bioethanol contributes to global nutrition and sustaining the land that produces it,” said Isabelle Ausdal, USGC manager of global ethanol policy and economics.

The meetings held in the Netherlands last week will continue to improve the Council’s understanding of ethanol marketing dynamics within the region. Additionally, the Council held foundational meetings to seek insights into EU sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) conversations and pathways for alcohol-to-jet inclusion. Curating these relationships with key individuals and organizations can be a catalyst for change in policy, trading practices, demand and U.S. market share.

Read more about the Council’s work in ethanol here.