WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — CBH Grain said on April 21 it has led the market in gaining the accreditation required to enable Western Australian canola growers to access the premium-paying European biofuel market.

To access this market, growers will be required to sell through a marketer accredited under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) scheme.

CBH Grain Head of Marketing Tom Puddy said CBH Grain's ISCC accreditation has kept open a valuable market opportunity for WA growers following the recent introduction of the E.U. Renewal Energy Directive (RED).

"Last year, more than 95% of CBH Grain's non-GM canola was sold to Europe," Puddy said. "CBH Grain's European customers are indicating that with current E.U. crop forecasts and the RED in place, Europe will be short of canola and rapeseed again during 2011-12 and will need to make up a sizable portion of the shortfall with Australian ISCC certified sustainable, non-GM canola."

CBH Grain Protein and Oilseeds Marketing Manager Peter Elliott said the forecast strong demand from Europe had seen a large price spread emerge between GM and non-GM canola.

"Growers are keenly watching the market as Europe is substantially short of non-GM canola, so values are likely to be well supported based on current supply and demand,” Elliott said. "The RED specifies that canola supplied into the biofuel industry must be produced in a 'sustainable' manner. CBH Grain's customers use only non-GM due to the requirements for by-products to be GM Free.”

Elliott reminded growers that they must still sign individual sustainability declarations.

"CBH Grain is accredited as a ‘First Gathering Point,’ therefore CBH Grain is accredited to collect, buy and sell the sustainable tonnage," he said. "It is still up to the growers to meet the sustainability criteria set by the ISCC. CBH can only sell the exact tonnage we receive as 'sustainable'. For example, if CBH Grain purchases a total of 100,000 tonnes of canola in a zone but we only obtain sustainable declarations from growers for 50,000 tonnes of canola, we can only sell 50,000 tonnes of canola as sustainable for the bio-fuel market in Europe."