Getting into the Feedstock Game

Could a move to fleet sustainability mean less available feedstock in South Carolina?
By Luke Geiver | May 12, 2011

The U.S. Foodservice wanted a more environmentally sustainable fleet, and now it is one waste vegetable oil (WVO) collection business closer. The food company recently purchased WVO Industries out of South Carolina, a company that collects and purifies the oil before shipping it off for biodiesel production. The plan is to relocate the WVO assets to a Columbia location where the oil will be processed. Producers who may be concerned that U.S. Foodservice will be gobbling up a high volume of feedstock can relax. While the company says it will collect roughly 5 million pounds of WVO per year (which equates to 400,000 gallons of renewable feedstock) it will only be using 200,000 gallons of it for its personnel fleet, and the remaining feedstock will made available to outside companies.

Tom Murray of the Environmental Defense Fund says the acquisition is a step to reduce the fleet’s environmental impact, and Michael Frank, U.S. Foodservice vice president of operations excellence, speaks to the level that impact may achieve, and it’s not just limited to South Carolina. “We expect to duplicate the success of the Columbia biodiesel operation,” Frank says, “at other U.S. Foodservice divisions.”

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