EU Commission Extends Red Tractor Biofuel Crop Assurance Scheme
On August 25, 2017, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) announced that the European Commission confirmed the extension of the Red Tractor voluntary scheme for biofuels for an initial three months. Red Tractor is a certification body used to prove that crops meet European Union (EU) sustainability requirements. To receive public support or count towards mandatory national renewable energy targets, biofuels used in the EU must comply with the EU's sustainability criteria. One way for a company to demonstrate compliance is to participate in voluntary schemes recognized by the European Commission.
As with the other voluntary schemes, Red Tractor was approved for a period of five years, which expired on August 1, 2017. On August 24, 2017, NFU called on the Commission to urgently address concerns that Red Tractor-approved crops will no longer be able to enter the European biofuels market. The Commission responded by confirming that the Red Tractor scheme continues to be considered compliant with the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability criteria until November 5, 2017, pending another five-year approval.