The European Commission on Dec. 15 confirmed that Australian canola meets strict new feedstock requirements for E.U. biodiesel and is eligible to enter to the E.U. market.
To meet its own greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, Europe would have shut its doors to Australian canola on Jan. 1, 2018, unless Australian farmers demonstrated that they grow low-emission canola.
Nick Goddard, chief executive officer of the Australian Oilseed Federation (AOF), said growers will feel relief over the decision, with the E.U. being Australian canola’s largest export market, and the majority of it finding use in biodiesel production.
“The E.U. market is too valuable to lose for Australian canola growers,” Goddard said. “In 2016-17, Australian canola
exports to the E.U. were typically worth over $1 billion, with nearly all those exports being used for biodiesel production.”
Professor Ross Kingwell, chief economist for the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, said the decision will have positive impacts for the Australian canola industry, as Australia is a major supplier of imported canola for E.U. biodiesel production.
“Many Australian farmers rely on canola production, and securing access to lucrative markets like the E.U. is crucial to underpin the security and general profitability of cropping in many farm regions across Australia,” Kingwell said.
The vast majority of Australian canola is non-GM, which attracts a price premium of approximately $20 to $40 per tonne in the E.U. This earned the Australian industry around an additional $100 million in 2016-17. Australia’s non-GM canola offers more options for the European supply chain, as residues can be used for animal feed and surplus for human consumption.