19 July 2002

Double hit on bio lobbies

MINISTERS and MPs received a double dose of face-to-face farmer lobbying on biofuels on Wednesday this week.

A delegation of growers from Norfolk urged farming minister Lord Whitty and junior transport minister David Jamieson to back bioethanol production in the region from crops such as wheat, sugar beet or potatoes with a duty rebate of 40p on the green fuel.

"We are ready, willing and able to get involved," said Peter Seaman from Great Farm, Saxthorpe. "All we need is for the government to show its commitment."

In a separate meeting at Westminster members of the East Durham Biodiesel group told some 30 MPs, plus rural affairs minister Alun Michael, that a fifth of the Chancellors pledge to DEFRA should be dedicated to liquid biofuel rebates and initiatives. &#42

"He said the cash will be made available to DEFRA to implement the core proposals of the Curry Report and this is one of the core recommendations," said Co Durham farmer and group chairman John Seymour.