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Crops: Biofuels

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effects the production of biofuels has had on the production of food crops. (196199)

The impact in the EU has been very limited as less than 2 per cent. of total cereal consumption will be used for biofuels this year. The current high level of cereal prices is mainly due to a mix of short and long term factors as set out in the DEFRA briefing note “Implications of rising agricultural commodity prices” available on the DEFRA website.

The Government are very eager to ensure that biofuel production is sustainable, and has commissioned Professor Ed Gallagher, chairman of the Renewable Fuels Agency, to lead a study on the wider economic and environmental impacts, including the impact on food prices, of different forms of biofuel production. The terms of reference for the review were published on the Department for Transport’s website on 13 March.