Biomass, simply defined, is everything that is produced from living organisms (including plants, animals or bacteria). This renewable raw material can be processed in biorefineries, using industrial biotechnology and/or chemical processes, to produce a wide variety of end products including food, feed, fuel and chemicals.
Using renewable biomass to make products that have been traditionally fossil-carbon based holds great potential benefits for the EU. These benefits include the ability to re-grow feedstock year on year, rather than relying on imported, finite fossil carbon, creating jobs in rural, coastal and deindustrialised areas, and boosting economic growth whilst minimising our CO2 emissions.
Biobased products actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere and trap this in biomass through the process of photosynthesis.
However, significant investments are needed in Europe in order to transition from dependence on fossil carbon (be it coal, oil or gas) towards renewable biomass, to make consumers' products renewably. For this to happen there needs to be certainty that a sustainable supply of competitively priced, high-quality biomass will be available.