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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates the Government has received for the level of duty on biofuels that would be necessary to make the cultivation of these non-fuel crops profitable for British farmers; and if she will make a statement. [117138]

I have been asked to reply.Although biofuels may offer new market opportunities to farmers producing non-food crops, assisting farmers is not the primary consideration in determining the appropriate level of duty for such fuels. Duty rates for less environmentally-damaging fuels are set relative to the main road fuels. The differentials we have set for bioethanol and biodiesel are intended mainly to reflect the relative environmental impacts of the fuels in question.