ZURICH (Reuters) - The chairman of the world’s biggest food group Nestle NESN.VX, Peter Brabeck, has called on politicians to lobby to end the use of food in the production of biofuels.
“This does not mean that biofuel should be scrapped entirely but that producers should use other organic materials,” Brabeck said in an interview with Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung.
He joins a growing chorus of politicians and scientists who are calling for a rethink in the production of biofuels.
“Our problem is that almost half of U.S. corn production and 60 percent of European rape is being used for fuel production,” he said.
Biofuel production is adding pressure on food prices which are already being boosted by climate change. “(Food) prices are increasingly prone to swings and correlate more and more with oil prices,” he said.
He also called for more transparency in international commodities markets.
Brabeck predicted Nestle’s input costs for key commodities such as milk, coffee and cocoa would fall in the second half of the year. However, should the price situation remain tense, the company would feel an impact in the medium term, he warned.
The Swiss-based company owns brands such as Nescafe coffee, KitKat chocolate bars and Maggi soup.
Reporting by Andrew Thompson; Editing by Susan Fenton