Jack Bernens, Enogen Marketing and Stakeholder Manager
Please tell us about Syngenta.
Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers, we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us, please go to www.syngenta.com.
Please tell us about Syngenta’s role within the ethanol industry in Minnesota and why the company is committed to supporting the ethanol industry now and in the future?
Syngenta supplies high quality seed, biotech traits, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides to Minnesota farmers that produce the feedstock for Minnesota ethanol plants. Most recently in 2011, Syngenta introduce Enogen corn enzyme technology, which produces alpha amylase in the corn kernel. Alpha amylase is one of the key enzyme used in the production of ethanol.
From your perspective, what would you like consumers to know about the ethanol industry and the fuel it produces?
Ethanol has had a profound impact on our local rural economies creating new high paying jobs, reduced our dependence on foreign oil, is much higher octane fuel, has saved consumers at the pump, and could if allowed at mid-range blends E30 could enable car manufacturers to achieve the mileage per gallon goals set by the U.S. government.
What do you think is needed for the availability of E15 to grow?
Consumers need to have access to be able to make a choice of which fuels they prefer to buy. We can only do this by expanding the number of stations that offer E15, E85 and other mid-range ethanol blends via flex fuel pumps.
What do you see as the ethanol industry’s biggest challenge?
Consumer access so they can choose for themselves. It will take that to break thru the blend wall; we have the capacity to produce the ethanol we just need to find a way to get beyond Big Oils blocking tactics to maintain their monopoly or 90% mandate to use gasoline.
What does your company see for the future of ethanol and advanced biofuels?
We think the future is bright once consumers know the truth; we have come a long way since 2005, just under 10 years ago. The next 10 years will have their challenges but hold much promise.