Combustion or consumption: how to balance biofuels production is a question that, is making the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(IRIN), like Unilever, worried that there will be competition for scarce food resources between biofuelers and people who need to eat.
In a long report it quotes Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), as saying at three-day UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) meeting in Rome last week
"The competition for grain between the world's 800 million motorists, who want to maintain their mobility, and its two billion poorest people, who are simply trying to survive, is emerging as an epic issue."
However, the FAO came out positive on the opportunities that biofuels offer to rural communities's: Alexander Müller, Head of FAO's Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, said commenting on last week's meeting.
"While there is legitimate concern among some groups that bioenergy could compromise food security and cause environmental damage, it can also be an important tool for improving the well-being of rural people if governments take into account environmental and food security concerns."
Which kind of works if enough of the money from biofuels cash crops gets into the pockets of people who will need to buy food, rather than growing their own.