Bakers in short supply of soy oil

A baking industry leader says among the many challenges facing the food supply chain is a soybean oil crisis leaving bakers scrambling to find supplies they need.

Ed Cinco is the Director of Purchasing at Schwebel’s Baking Company in Ohio. 

“The demand for soybean oil and other vegetable oils has exceeded domestic supplies,” he says.

Cinco points to the 2020 drought, lower than expected projected plantings in 2021, and the EPA’s renewable biodiesel program as factors limiting soybean oil.

“This means for some food companies, edible oil will literally not be available at any price due to the diversion of the edible oil to the biodiesel industry,” he says.

 His organization wants to see the EPA set Renewable Volume Obligation targets that allow for the food supply to go undisrupted.

The American Soybean Association counters there is no shortage with a record soy crop projected this year and USDA forecasting a record soy oil supply.  Seven new oilseed processing plants are also currently under development to meet growing demand.  Instead, the organization points to supply chain challenges with labor, transportation, and inputs as causing disruptions.

Cinco testified on behalf of the American Bakers Association during this week’s U.S. House Ag Committee’s supply chain hearing saying members estimate if unable to source some ingredients, production is likely to be cut by up to 15 percent.

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