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Re: HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report: Biofuels and Food Security

John Pinkney Ensus, United Kingdom
30.01.2013
John Pinkney

Ensus Response to the consultation on FAO/HLPE’s V0 draft of the report Biofuels and Food Security

Ensus is pleased for the opportunity to respond to this consultation. However, Ensus has very serious and significant concerns about the analysis presented in this report. In particular we believe many of the data sources used and assumptions made, to be out of date, or simply incorrect. We also find many points being made not adequately supported by referenced data or by a clear explanation of procedures followed to draw the conclusions being offered.

In particular, we would offer a series of references which we believe provide more up to date and fuller analyses, of the effect of co-products on the contributions which biofuels can make. These co-products are a key part of the overall analysis, because they can fundamentally change the apparent performance of biofuels. The only contribution of co-products acknowledged in this study is to net off the feedstock used. However this ignores the point that co-products recover all the protein present in the feedstock, and can therefore displace other protein sources, with significant consequent environmental and economic benefit. This also results in reduced net land use, a credit component for ILUC effects, and benefits to the food sector.       

We would therefore urge the group to refer to the following peer reviewed publications:

  • Biofuel Co-Products as Livestock Feed – Opportunities and Challenges; Chapter 2: An Outlook on EU biofuel production and its implications for the animal feed industry. FAO, 2012
  • Impact of protein co-products on net land requirement for European biofuel production. Global Change Biology – Bioenergy (2009) 1(5): 346-359

We would be very happy to discuss these points in more detail with the Expert Panel at any time.