Officials with the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) say a letter criticizing biofuels sent to British Prime Minister David Cameron by a group led by two of the world’s largest multinational food companies is “biased and misleading.”
“Nestlé Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe who co-authored this misguided attack on biofuels has no credibility on this issue,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance. “I find it somewhat convenient that a person who sits on the Board of ExxonMobil would criticize biofuels.”
The letter issued to Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of his hosting of the upcoming G8 meetings has failed to highlight the tremendous impact that high oil prices have had on global food prices. The letter has ignored the recent World Bank publication, Long-Term Drivers of Food Prices, which examined the relative contribution of various sector and macroeconomic drivers on food price increases from 1997–2004 to 2005–12.
The World Bank report “concludes that most of the price increases are accounted for by crude oil prices (more than 50 percent)…oil prices mattered most during the recent boom period because they experienced the largest increase.“ The report goes on to say “most of the contribution to food price changes from 1997-2004 to 2005-12 comes from the price of crude oil, which for maize and wheat is 52 percent and 64 percent, respectively.”
“There is little doubt that during the recent period of volatile food price spikes and record oil industry profits, oil prices were the most important driver of food prices,” said Baker.
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