Increased production of biofuel crops will not lead to higher food prices, the European Commission has claimed.

In a report out today (24 July), the Commission said incoming regulation on biofuels could increase demand in the EU by only 3.1% by 2020.

Earlier this year, EU ministers approved setting a target for biofuels to cover 10% of EU fuel demand, and the Commission is drafting legislation which would force member states to increase biofuel production and consumption.

In the long term, energy crops could be grown on fallow set aside fields leaving considerable land available for biofuel production, the Commission said.

The Commission cited a stagnating and aging population in the EU that will eat significantly less meat than levels seen in the last decade, depressing demand for meat and cereals.

Limited domestic and foreign markets will therefore reduce feed demand in the EU, increasing the availability of feedstock and land for biofuel production, heading off price rises for food and ingredients, the Commission said.