Unilever is against mandatory biofuel targets

Unilever is against mandatory biofuel targets, according to the Guardian newspaper this morning. The huge soap-to-food empire is opposed on the basis that switching crops from food to biofuels is pushing up the prices in the developing world. Unilever has chosen to present its views to a meeting of  Commonwealth finance ministers in St Lucia. Many of the countries in the Commonwealth are developing nations in Africa and southeast Asia, which have felt the effects of more expensive food recently. So  by making this case here, Unilever is partly preaching to the choir, but if ministers take the message back home there could be the start of a change in policy…

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2 Responses to Unilever is against mandatory biofuel targets

  1. M 7 October, 2008 at 1:21 am #

    It’s not just malnutrition in developing countries that’s the problem. According to Unilever’s response to the Biofuels Directive in 2006, we’ll all suffer when ‘healthy vegetable oils’ become more expensive

    “The artificial promotion of vegetable oils, like rapeseed oil, will create unjustifiable price increases, shortages of supply and a distortion of the vegetable oil market. This would stimulate consumers to switch consumption from healthy vegetable oils to animal fats. Such a switch would increase the likelihood of higher blood cholesterol levels which are a major risk factor in heart disease.”

    http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/legislation/doc/biofuels/contributions/industry/unilever.pdf

  2. Simon Robinson 7 October, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    You make a good point, many proponents of veg-based fuel solutions forget that their solution to one problem can cause problems in other areas, as products are substituted when prices of the original product rise. Wheat for corn, tallow for rape seed oil.

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