As the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture draws to a close in Berlin, The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance has challenged new FAO Director General Jose Graziano Da Silva on his simplistic and misinformed critique of biofuels and their alleged impact on commodity prices.

“Mr. Da Silva has failed to recognize that the rising price of energy is the primary driver in the rising cost of all commodities including corn and sugar,” said GRFA spokesperson, Bliss Baker.

Many international organizations have backtracked on their criticism of biofuels based on research which has found biofuels to have played a very minor role in the escalation of food prices globally. In fact, David Hallam, the FAO’s own deputy director has said that “unexpected oil price spikes could further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets.”

“Mr. Da Silva would do well to listen to the International Energy Agency’s dire warnings about our energy security future when commenting on biofuels,” said Mr. Baker.  “The IEA concluded that biofuels could provide 27% of total transport fuel by 2050 and avoid around 2.1 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions per year when produced sustainably without jeopardizing food security."

The GRFA has repeatedly called for an increase in the use of biofuels to help reduce the world’s crippling reliance on crude oil.

“I would urge the new FAO Director General to focus on the real cause of high food prices - the rising cost of energy,” concluded Baker.