Paul Temple talks at ICIS Bioresources Summit

Looking at the biofuel challenge to the agricultural supply chain.Here are some soundbites from Paul’s presentation that caught my attention

As a farmer we harness the environment we produce the only truly renewable raw materials. Biofuels are “one of the brighter areas”.

FAO calculated 41.88m km2 land is available 15.06 km are in use 0.11m km being used of biofuels.

We can genuinely hit the UK targets from production because there is set aside and fallow and because we are exporting a large area in wheat. We are faced with CAP reforms that are changing the way we look at production, not linked directly to support, have to be market based.

Set aside to zero initiated by NFU partly because of new biofuels market. 260m tonne cereals 4.5m were going to biofuels, they’re not a driving factor. 166m tonne to animal feed is

Only sensible way forward is to find a new market biofuels is one of these, the alternative is having land an rural economies doing absolutely nothing.

Media perception how communicate food vs fuel argument because of rising costs sustainability land conversion and media cost of carbon savings.

Its not about one solution its about a mix, potential of cutting co2 down by 20% if we get it right. Global energy use in its current form is not sustainable.

Brazilians want to make ethanol but domestic consumption is rising fast so it won’t be a cheap feedstock it is about sustainability standards.

We’d like to see far more aspirational targets. IEA 7% by 2030 is achievable. 1st generation biofuels as a first step. 1st gen bridge to 2nd possibly.Doing nothing is not adoption when transport fuel growing by 40% over a 10 year period.

How to get gold standard prove that we have sustainability that we talk about? In the UK farm assurance (little red tractor) is a basis to work from. 90% of cereal area covered with a few tweaks this can actually deliver substantiated records that show we do what it says on the tin.

The UK consumed 192 000 tonnes biodesel 2006
with capacity for 445 000 tonnes
07 capacity 6576 000 tonnes

Media perception don’t want easy pick up with NGOs selling subjective stories. We are engaged in the long term. Cereal price increases and food security food vs fuel. Productive farming is vital for society.

Subsidies why different? History production cycles up to 1 and 2 ww unsuported agriculture and decline. Culture then need value to it. Subsidies are like insuranc. For example 6-8 months ago scrapping intervention, but have somewhere to offload milling wheat. Commission were keen to see that scrapped. 14m tonnes in 05 last year all left intervention but off loaded it into the market keeping 20m tonne short fall and no intervention stocks you have seen a 100% increase in cereals.

This was an interesting presentation with good cogent arguments for producing an annual surplus of grain. I was less convinced by the argument that we can simply use the excess grain that is exported at the moment unless we can significantly increase the volume of grain grown to match demand for fuel and possible future shocks whihc could drive up the price.

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