Potential for significant disruption to UK biofuels market averted

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi
© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi

Related tags biofuels EU Commission AIC oilseeds Grain Brussels

The European Commission (EC) is maintaining UK biofuels’ assurance status.

The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) reports that the potential for significant disruption to the UK biofuels market has been avoided, with the EC announcing it will not implement major changes to its assurance scheme recognition process from the end of 2023.

This significant development follows months of intense collaborative efforts between the AIC, who represent the UK feed and agri-supply sectors, and various stakeholders, including industry, government, and other assurance schemes in the UK and across Europe.

The proposed rule change, which could have terminated accreditation recognition for UK-based voluntary schemes assuring materials for biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II, posed a threat to the acceptance of UK biofuel materials such as grain and oilseeds in EU markets in the coming year.


In June, the EC notified assurance scheme owners, including AIC, Red Tractor Assurance (RTA), and Scottish Quality Crops (SQC), of its intention to withdraw accreditation for UK-based RED II assurance schemes by the end of 2023, given the UK's status as a third country post its departure from the EU. But the AIC says the discussions and engagements it led prompted the EC to reconsider this decision.

Throughout the summer, the parties concerned worked diligently to address the concerns and find a resolution. And, in early November, the AIC and other voluntary scheme owners held discussions with the EC to urgently address the potential loss of scheme recognition. With only weeks remaining until the end-of-year deadline, the EC informed the AIC of its decision to postpone the implementation of the relevant regulation on certification.

Relief all round 

Rose Riby, AIC's head of arable marketing, expressed her satisfaction with the decision from Brussels, emphasizing its positive impact in maintaining access to the EU market for UK voluntary scheme recognition under RED II. This development is seen as a significant relief for UK farmers, growers, and businesses involved in the biofuels market, offering reassurance and stability.

"AIC's engagement with the EU Commission, stakeholders, members and scheme participants on this matter will continue into 2024 as all parties seek a more permanent solution for the industry.”

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