Biofuels can help to create a strong and sustainable agricultural sector in Europe, so says NFU policy director Martin Haworth.
Speaking at an international food security conference in Brussels this week, Haworth criticised campaign groups for painting 'a negative view of biofuels and for dismissing their benefits'.
"Too many NGOs are giving a negative and simplistic argument against biofuels based on the assumption that they create food shortages and contribute to food insecurity," said Haworth. "They choose to forget that when our domestic arable crops are converted into biofuel, they also provide a high protein animal feed for our livestock farmers. This in turn reduces our reliance on imported protein, which is often expensive, and increases the sustainability of UK farming.
"The biggest advantage of biofuels is that they contribute to farm profitability and encourage investment at farm level and in scientific research – the two essential ingredients for increasing production to feed a growing population.
"In Europe, there are strict conditions to ensure that biofuel production is sustainable and produces a net carbon saving. Under the EU policy framework, biofuels can produce a triple benefit: reduced carbon emissions, less reliance on finite fossil fuel and greater food security."
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