This means that, until 2020, there will be a limit on the use of biofuels made from molasses, given the concerns on the displacement of molasses from food and feed to biofuels.
However, the European Commission proposal on the Recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (November 2016) seeks to promote the use of molasses for biofuels. This proposal is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council.
According to this proposal, molasses will have the same status as waste materials such as used cooking oil and its use for biofuels will be favoured through a specific blending target.
As the EU already needs to import more than 1 million tonnes of molasses each year, there won’t be enough molasses to cover additional demand for biofuels that would be triggered by the mandatory blending target.
As a result, the use of molasses will shift from food and feed to biofuels.
Promoting molasses for biofuels through specific targets will:
Hinder the competitiveness of the European food, feed and bio-economy sectors, such as the European yeast and fermentation industry, which heavily relies on molasses for the production of food and feed products. That would result in increased imports of yeast and citric acid from third countries, putting at risk the existence of many jobs in the sector.
Deprive the feed industry of an important feed material which, for its nutritional and anti-pelleting properties, is not easily replaceable.