EU farmers voice animal feed fears in rejecting EC biofuels plan

Europe’s farm leaders have rejected European Commission (EC) plans to phase out the production of conventional biofuels from EU arable crops after 2020, citing the importance of animal feed by-products as one of the key reasons for their dislike of the new strategy.

“Conventional biofuels produced from EU arable crops not only provide the EU with environmentally-friendly transport fuels to decarbonise road transport in an inexpensive way but also ensure food security and balance within EU agricultural markets,” said Copa & Cogeca secretary-general, Pekka Pesonen.

“They also boost animal feed supplies as only a fraction of the crop is used to produce biodiesel or bioethanol with the rest being available as a protein-rich by-product used for animal feed. This is crucial for livestock producers especially in the current crisis.”

The Copa & Cogeca rejection of the 2020 move came after the launch this week of a new European strategy for low-emission mobility in which the EC proposed the progressive elimination of conventional biofuels after 2020, to be replaced by more advanced biofuels.

Copa & Cogeca argued, however, that both types of biofuel will be crucial in the future if the EU is to achieve a sustainable, low carbon economy, with the potential loss of vital animal feed supplies adding a double negative to the EC’s approach.

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