Farmers must boost biofuel reputation

Farmers should make serious efforts to boost negative public and food industry perceptions of biofuels, the Home Grown Cereals Authority warned this week.

“Black propaganda” had caused people to view the growth of biofuels as a threat to developing countries, Alastair Dickie, HGCA crop marketing manager said.

The possible conflict with third-world countries was an issue UK and European farmers had to take seriously, he told delegates at the British Crop Production Council’s ‘New Crops, New Opportunities’ conference in Peterborough.

Signs of conflict already appeared in Mexico this week, where protesters blamed the spiralling costs of tortillas on the increasing demand for maize for the US’s bioethanol industry.

Mr Dickie said farmers needed to keep retailers and processors on side as the biofuel market was developed.

As biofuel production required four million tonnes of oilseed rape and seven milliom tonnes of wheat, biofuels were “part of the future,” Mr Dickie added.

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