Back in 2003, the European Union instituted some major reforms in its agricultural sector, which are now known as the “Fischler Reforms” after the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries at the time, Franz Fischler.
Among the policies instituted at the time was a very small incentive for farmers to produce crops on set aside land that could be used to make fuel. During an interview with Domestic Fuel at the 51st International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Japan last week, Dr. Fischler discussed that initiative and what he sees as the future for biofuels in the European Union.
“In my view, in Europe, food production will remain the main purpose of agricultural activities and fuel production will play a minor role, but an increasing role,” Fischler said. “We decided to be very ambitious about what we want to achieve, that is 10 percent of consumption by 2020. But we are also aware of the fact that this is only achievable if we are able to come forward with the second generation biofuels because if we are to do it on the basis of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel we would need almost half of the arable land in the European Union, and this is not going to happen.”
However, the EU is already expecting to import some of their biofuel needs from other countries in an effort to meet their intended goal.
Listen to Fischler’s comments on biofuels here: