Is ethanol to blame for 1,100 job cuts at Pilgrim's Pride?

We've been covering the ongoing debate on whether or not ethanol is to blame for the increase in corn and feedstock prices, and opinions on both sides seem to be pretty strong. According to Pilgrim's Pride President and Chief Executive Clint Rivers, "Our company and industry are struggling to cope with unprecedented increases in feed-ingredient costs this year due largely to the U.S. government's ill-advised policy of providing generous federal subsidies to corn-based ethanol blenders." Because of the high feedstock prices, Pilgrim's Pride is cutting 1,100 jobs and closing some of their complexes. Corn prices are not solely to blame, though, as soybean-meal has also increased in price. There is apparently too much chicken available on the market as well.

So, is ethanol production really to blame for the 1,100 lost jobs at Pilgrim's Pride, or is it a convenient scapegoat for other problems? We honestly can't say, but no matter what the answer to that question is, we sincerely look forward to the breakout of cellulosic ethanol which is a much more efficient process in any case.

[Source: Dow Jones Newswire]

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