Guest Post from www.sundancerenewables.org.uk
Intense lobbying and media coverage of the effect of increasing palm oil production being blamed on the demand for biodiesel overlooks the fact that only 3% of palm oil production goes directly into biofuel – the majority- over 97%, goes into the food and cosmetics industries.
The vast majority of trees are felled for the meat industry, tobacco processing and for timber, but biofuels have become an easy target for people who believe that we cannot be weaned off fossil fuels – we must kick the fossil fuel habit and local production of sustainable biodiesel is a good practical solution for greener vehicles.
The biodiesel industry in the UK is currently under extreme financial pressure from unethically subsidised US B99 exports plus the grossly inflated prices being made by the UK UCO (used cooking oil) collecting and processing industries, on top of the price hike on new oil which has affected all of our valued suppliers of UCO.
As a social enterprise we would like to continue with our free collection service of UCO but we sympathise with our suppliers who have seen the price of new oil double in the last 6 months - blatant profiteering on the part of oil suppliers and collectors who tie their customers into buying oil from them. Many people have been misled or misinformed about biofuels lately.... worldwide there is plenty of land that is suitable for producing crops and the new market for biofuel crops can ensure that farmers get a fair price for what they grow.
If we ate all the food we produced there would be less of a problem, as WRAP recently revealed that we throw away around 20 million tonnes of food every year in the UK!
Obviously, there are good and bad ways of producing biofuels. Cutting down forests and destroying habitats in order to produce food, cosmetics, meat, tobacco or biofuels is unacceptable. Currently under 1% of palm oil imported into the EU is used in biofuel production.
I wrote about using biofuels at
Palm Oil Products