NFU calls for maximum UK biofuels from food crops

The NFU is urging the Department for Transport (DFT) to support the biofuels market and its co-product stream by allowing UK growers and processers to produce the maximum amount of biofuels from food crops allowed by EU law. Any national reduction of the cap set by EU legislation would restrain crop production for the biofuels industry.  

In 2015, the European Parliament approved legislation that limited the contribution of biofuels produced from food crops in meeting the member states’10% target for renewables in transport fuels by 2020. The legislation imposed a cap of 7% on food crop fuels, with more emphasis on producing advanced biofuels from waste feedstocks. Member states must incorporate this EU legislation into national law by 2017, and must show how they are going to meet sub-targets for advanced biofuels.  

The DFT is currently deciding what UK cap to set on crops produced for biofuels. Several member states have capped the contribution of biofuels produced from food crops at 7%, and the NFU believes the UK will be at a competitive disadvantage if the cap is any lower than this.  

“The NFU is urging the DfT to consider the potential debilitating effect on the biofuels market and consequent impact on arable farmers when setting the cap on crops for biofuels,” says NFU president Meurig Raymond. 

“The biofuels market offers a sustainable trade for oilseed rape and wheat and the co-products from biofuel production produce two million tonnes of valuable high-protein animal feed. The farming industry can only reap these benefits if the cap is set at 7%. We also highlighted that the DfT has a huge opportunity to increase UK biofuel inclusion in fossil fuels. At the moment the inclusion rate is 4.75%, but we are urging the department to raise this to 10%. This would encourage the introduction of E10, an eco-fuel with 10% ethanol in petrol, to UK forecourts and provide much-needed security and stability to markets.”