§ Mr. Pike
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department plans to take on the EU Biofuels Directive; what discussions she has had with those in the agriculture industry on the potential for production and use of non-food crops; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
Negotiations on the EU biofuels targets Directive are still taking place and are being led by the Department for Transport. It is anticipated that the outcome of the discussions will be a requirement for member states to set indicative targets for the use of biofuels as a transport fuel by July 2005. The Government recognise that liquid biofuels and nonfood crops in general have potential for UK agriculture and regular discussions are held with farmers and industry representatives on a wide range of non-food crops issues. The Government-Industry Forum on Non-Food Uses of Crops, which includes representatives from the farming sector, was set up in 2001 to review market opportunities for non-food crops and make recommendations to Government on policy affecting their use. The Forum is looking at several non-food crop applications, including biodiesel and bioethanol.