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Palm oil producing countries to meet EU for talks in May

An aerial picture of a palm-oil plantation in Dumai, Riau. (Antara Photo/Rony Muharrman)
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Ministers from member nations of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) are scheduled to meet European Union officials in May to discuss objections to the EU parliament’s recent resolution that the CPOPC fears will disadvantage the palm oil trade.

“The CPOPC will send a ministerial mission to the EU in May to report that local palm oil is produced according to ISPO [Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil] and [market-driven, multiple-stakeholder] RSPO [Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil] standards,” said Panggah Susanto, the Industry Ministry’s agro industry director general at a media workshop on Monday.

The countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia – the world’s largest and second largest palm oil producers – have repeatedly stated their objections to the non-binding resolution that calls on EU nations to only import sustainable palm oil after 2020 and adopt a single set of international sustainability standards.

The mission to the EU was decided on latest CPOPC meeting on Apr. 11 attended by Indonesia Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution and Malaysia Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

Businesspeople under the Indonesian National Palm Oil Board (DMSI) have urged Indonesian leaders and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to approach the EU commission directly to address the matter.

Exports of palm oil, the nation’s biggest contributor to non-oil-and-gas exports, reached almost US$18.23 billion last year, 13.8 percent of the year’s total export value of $131.3 billion, Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data shows. Source: thejakartapost

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