Big Food clock still ticking

Published on: 16:48PM Mar 17, 2009
When the ethanol industry launched its newest promotional group, Growth Energy, back in December 2008, it challenged the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to either lower food prices for Americans during tough economic times or “to admit to the fundamentally flawed argument they’ve been making about biofuels.”
Growth Energy even set up a countdown clock to track the hours and days elapsed since the group called on Big Food to lower prices for consumers at the grocery store. You can check out the clock at At this posting, it’s at about 126 days, 5 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds.
Now that corn prices are down, why won’t Big Food drop grocery prices?
“The GMA is claiming that there is lag time before food prices reflect the lower costs of oil and corn, but there was no lag time when the GMA raised food prices. Consumers took the hit right away," says Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Hawkeye Energy Holdings, LLC and Board Member of Growth Energy. Hawkeye Energy h nation’s third-largest
"Raising food prices on struggling Americans is not a popular thing to do, so it's easy to see why they might claim a 'lag' or try to predict future price hikes so they can keep their costs high now. Once again, they are trying to lay the blame for their price hikes at the feet of America's ethanol producers and corn farmers."
Note: Rastetter, who runs the nation's third-largest ethanol-producing company is contemplating a run for Iowa governor in 2010. It will be fun to watch him go up against Big Food while juggling political interests.