Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Session 2002-03

Session 2002-03

On 27 February the Committee announced a new inquiry into "alternative crops".  The title of the inquiry has now changed, in order to clarify its purpose.  The inquiry will now be titled "alternative uses for crops", to make clear that it is concerned with the alternative uses of crops, in other words their use for purposes other than for food and feed.  Within that, the Committee's principal interest is their use for biofuels.

The Committee's terms of reference reflect the focus of the inquiry:

"Taking account of Energy White Paper (Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy), as well as any announcements to be made in the Budget, the Committee will consider crops used for purposes other than for providing food and feed.  In particular it will look at their use as sources of fuel.  The Committee will examine:

  • the extent to which crops are already grown for alternative uses in the United Kingdom;

  • what benefits (or costs) would result from expanding their production, and in particular what contribution the use of biofuels might make to sustainable development;

  • what should be done to encourage production; and

  • what examples there are of best practice in other countries from which we can learn."

The deadline for the submission of written evidence has been put back as a result of this change in the inquiry's title, to Friday 4 April. [The form which such evidence should take is set out below - please note in particular the restriction on length and that it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

The Committee will be glad to receive supplementary memoranda after the Budget (should they be needed) from those who have already submitted written evidence by the deadline of 4 April.

Written evidence must be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in Word or WordPerfect.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to Richard Kelly .  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary.

Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so.

Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage.  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 3262.