English NFU attacks French MEP over biofuel

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AN INFLUENTIAL French MEP who yesterday proposed a top limit on the market for biofuel production in Europe was accused by the English NFU of damaging farmer confidence and reducing the incentive to produce for food, feed and fuel.

Corinne Lepage MEP, right, who is the European Parliament’s lead rapporteur on the environment committee, published a paper suggesting that a maximum of 4.27 per cent of oilseed crops are converted into biofuel.

At that level, the NFU believed there would be an estimated reduction of one third in the cropped area of EU and UK oilseed rape as well as the negative impact of losing an important rotational crop on UK wheat yields.

NFU crops board member and spokesman on biofuels Brett Askew said the MEP had obviously not considered the implications of her opinion on crop productivity and biodiversity on farm.

“Picking winners, as she has done in proposing a cap on biodiesel production, fails to reflect the interdependence of these feedstocks on-farm.”