The Scottish Government is consulting with the agriculture, bio-energy and whisky sectors on ways to ensure a fairer market for distillery co-products used in livestock feed.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse have written to a range of stakeholders asking for their views on how the UK Government’s proposed new green gas support scheme might have an impact on competition for these co-products, including draff.
The new scheme is designed to replace Renewable Heat Incentive support for biomethane producers.
“Distillery co-products are an important source of protein and fibre when used for livestock feed in certain areas of Scotland,” said the letter.
“In recent years, the cost of distillery co-products as a livestock feed has increased and this may be due, in part at least, to competing demands through increased use in bio-energy.”
The letter highlighted a study, published by Scotland’s Rural College last July, which found that the total amount of distillery co-products used as animal feed in Scotland was around 60,000 tonnes lower in 2019 than in 2012.
“It was identified that this may have been attributable to the relative increase in the use of products for bio-energy, including bio-energy projects in distilleries,” the letter added.
It called for continued collaboration between the whisky and farming sectors and said the historical relationship between the two was an asset which “adds value and supports jobs” across the country.
The call for evidence runs until June 23.