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Unilever comes out against worldwide rush to biofuels

Source:  Copyright 2008, Guardian
Date:  October 6, 2008
Byline:  Tim Webb
Original URL: Status ONLINE


Unilever, the food and consumer goods group, has thrown its weight behind moves to scrap mandatory biofuel targets and subsidies. It is backing recommendations being made today to Commonwealth finance ministers at their annual meeting in St Lucia to improve food security and prevent famine.

Unilever is concerned that subsidies for biofuels are driving up food prices and the cost of its products. The group is a member of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), which is presenting the recommendations to the ministers. The CBC is chaired by Paul Skinner, chairman of the mining group Rio Tinto; other members include the Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and John Studzinski of the private equity firm Blackstone.

If ministers adopt the recommendations, the CBC hopes that they will lobby their counterparts for curbs on biofuels at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank summits in Washington later in the week.

Mohan Kaul, director general ...

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