Brexit and subsequent (European Union) EU rule changes to its Renewable Energy Directive (RED) had threatened to remove all UK farm assured growers from the EU biofuels market at the end of 2023. Red Tractor initiated a UK-wide industry effort to avert this negative outcome.
Following two years of detailed submissions with the EC, Red Tractor’s positive assessment result from the EC means that Red Tractor farmers will see ongoing benefits including: avoiding additional audit requests; and preventing grain being displaced within the UK, by imported RED certified grain.
Red Tractor Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet Chairman, Kit Papworth explained: “The EC’s decision to renew Red Tractor’s accreditation to the Renewable Energy Directive is a hugely positive outcome for all UK arable farmers. While not all UK farmers choose to grow specifically for the biofuels market, the accreditation also has the potential to lift the grain price for all crops growers. The decision reflects the Red Tractor technical team’s outstanding skill and dedication to delivering tangible results for UK agriculture.”
NFU Crops and Oilseed Chairman, Matt Culley said: “Without the work of the Red Tractor team and other industry stakeholders, arable farmers in England and Wales could easily have lost access to the EU biofuels market at the end of 2023. The team at Red Tractor has worked tirelessly over the past two years to understand the challenges in detail and explore every available solution. This has enabled continued access to this vital multimillion pound market for those arable farmers.”
Red Tractor Chief Executive, Jim Moseley, said: “I’m delighted we have secured the renewal. For farmers, what that means is you have continued access to the biofuels market. That includes both domestic and export trading opportunities. This renewed recognition from the EC of the Red Tractor Combinable Crops standard is great news for farmers. It opens their options to grow crops for food or for biofuel, without requiring any different or additional effort on farm.”
Red Tractor has been recognised by the European Commission since 2012 as a scheme that assures crops going into the biofuels market.
More information about the biofuels market in the UK:
• Grain must be certified in order to be used for biofuels
• If Red Tractor was not recognised by both the European Commission and the UK government (DfT), farmers would be required to have an additional audit to certify their grain if they wanted to supply into the biofuels supply chain
• These audits are very subject specific and can only be carried out by a few specialised organisations, who are EU approved
• They are considerably more expensive than a RT audit and only provide access to the biofuels market
• If the UK schemes lost their RED recognition, RED certified grain would be imported by the biofuels plants as the product cannot go to market without full supply chain certification