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Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy Established

by Ellen Hardy
29 July 2008, at 1:00am

US - Leaders from across the agriculture value chain have joined together to form the Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy

The alliance is designed to promote their understanding that through innovation, agriculture can sustainably meet the growing global demand for food and renewable forms of energy.

Founding members of the Alliance include the Archer Daniels Midland Company, DuPont, John Deere, Monsanto and the Renewable Fuels Association.

"The Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy will underscore the role that agriculture can play in supporting our food and energy needs," said Mark Kornblau, executive director, Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy.

"With growing global demand for grain, it's critically important that policy leaders start thinking about how we can grow our way to a solution. Innovation is part of the American DNA - through greater support for agricultural innovation, we can produce enough crops to supply both our food and energy needs worldwide."

Recently, critics have tried to frame the debate as an "either/or" decision, making people feel they must choose between food and energy security. The Alliance believes this is a false choice that ignores both the capabilities of agriculture and our nation's history of using innovation to solve our problems.

The Alliance realises both are possible - and can be accomplished using less land and fewer resources than generally understood.

The companies forming the Alliance are experts in agriculture, from planted seed to market sale, putting them in a unique position to address this current concern.

Thanks in part to their research and other efforts, agricultural productivity, particularly in the United States, has increased consistently for the past 100 years. Families around the world have benefitted from these innovations as well.

"The history of agriculture demonstrates constant innovation to meet the world's needs," said Todd Werpy, vice president, Research, ADM.

"For more than a century, ADM has played a vital role in the chain of innovation, making hundreds of food, feed, fuel and chemical products from renewable crops. Increased farm productivity, combined with novel and improved processing technologies, will allow agriculture to meet our food needs and make a critical contribution to our energy future."

"Agriculture mechanization was among the most important breakthroughs to mankind in the 20th century," said J.B. Penn, Chief Economist, Deere & Company.

"Now, as we face the challenge of better feeding and fueling the world, the technology designed into machinery, coupled with the ingenuity of the world's farmers, will have just as significant an impact."

"Agriculture must be higher on our agenda in a world of increasing food and energy demands and limited resources," said Jim Borel, Group Vice President, DuPont.

"While there is no single solution to this issue, technology advancements have, overtime, contributed greatly, to increased food productivity and nutritional quality, while limiting the amount of new land required for cultivation. And we're only just beginning to realize the benefit technology innovations can and will have on energy production."

"Now more than ever before, agriculture is at the intersection of some of the toughest challenges we face on the planet including both our food and energy needs," said Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D., chief technology officer of Monsanto.

"With the world's population expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, the agriculture industry must act together to meet the needs for increased food, fibre and energy and while preserving our environment's resources such as water."

Ellen Hardy