The National Farmers Union (NFU) is lobbying for the rejection of draft EU legislation on future crop use in biofuel production, arguing that such a move is bad for both arable and livestock farmers.
The draft law, which is due to be voted on by the European Parliament (EP) later this month, would reduce the volume of crops allowed to be used for biofuel processing from today’s 10% maximum to 7% in the future.
The NFU wants UK MEPs to block the vote, arguing that it will further expose farmers to market volatility by narrowing the biofuels market for wheat, oilseed rape and sugar beet.
The union also believes that the “food vs. fuel” basis for the legislation is invalid, adding that the “stable, reliable and domestic supply of high-protein animal feed made from the biofuel processing co-product is vital for UK livestock producers”.
“The biofuel industry has led the way in demonstrating standards on farm in the UK, across Europe and subsequently raising sustainability around the world,” said the union’s farmer expert on biofuels, Brett Askew. “Yet throughout this process these facts have been ignored with the misleading claim of a conflict between food and fuel distracting policy makers from their original focus: reducing European reliance on harmful fossil fuels in our transport system.
“MEPs have one last chance to demonstrate their commitment to decarbonising the European transport sector while at the same time decreasing the UK and Europe’s protein deficit.”
The EP vote, which is the final stage in the legislative process, is scheduled for April 29.