AUSTIN, TX --- The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA) is partnering with Organic Valley Family of Farms to field-test newly developed industry standards through existing biodiesel operations.

In 2008, the SBA developed the Baseline Practices for Sustainability (BPS). This 25-page document is the product of a year-long stakeholder workgroup and outlines environmentally and socially sustainable practices for biodiesel feedstock, production, distribution and end users.

"As a mission-driven organization, the SBA develops tools for sustainability. Having Organic Valley field-test the BPS will allow us to fine-tune those tools,” said Jeff Plowman, SBA's executive director.

Organic Valley was an early adopter of biodiesel and has an extensive biodiesel operation in place today, consisting of feedstock, production and distribution elements. Organic Valley will apply the practices outlined in the BPS document to its existing systems and report findings to the SBA. The data collected through this, the first of many national pilot programs, will be used to develop criteria and indicators for an independent certification system for sustainable biodiesel in 2010.

An independent, farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1988, Organic Valley has grown to more than 1,300 farmer-owners and has become one of the nation's largest providers of organic food.

"Organic Valley has always been committed to the environment and the community," said Cecil Wright, vice president of sustainability for Organic Valley. "We believe biodiesel can be part of a community-based and distributed energy model that solves many problems our nation and our planet is facing. The SBA has provided guidelines to improve the sustainability of our biodiesel operations, and we are very excited to be the first of their pilots."

The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance was founded in 2006 to promote environmentally and socially sustainable practices for the biodiesel industry.