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Sugar Beet: Biofuels

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to help sugar beet farmers diversify their markets to use their crop for fuel production. (125561)

Following the reform of the sugar regime, farmers can grow sugar beet on set-aside land for bioethanol use and can claim the European Union’s €45 per hectare Energy Aid payment for sugar beet on non set-aside land.

The Government are promoting the production of bioethanol through a 20p per litre duty rate cut. To further develop the supply of biofuels, a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will be introduced to require 5 per cent. of fuel sold in the UK to come from a renewable source by 2010.

We are aware that British Sugar are building a biofuel processing plant in Norfolk that will use sugar beet as one of the feedstocks.