Wednesday, 14 Rabiul Akhir 1441 / 11 December 2019

Wednesday, 14 Rabiul Akhir 1441 / 11 December 2019

Indonesia counters negative campaign against palm oil

Selasa 03 Oct 2017 16:01 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Palm oil.

Palm oil.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia has countered the negative campaign against the palm oil industry at the World Trade Organization (WTO) forum, noted a written press statement from the Indonesian Permanent Mission in Geneva received in Jakarta, Tuesday.

In order to combat the negative campaign against palm oil, the Indonesian government initiated an event themed "Workshop on Sustainability and Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade: The Case Study of Palm Oil," held at the end of September in WTO's public forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

The workshop, which is part of Indonesia's initiatives, was later supported by several other palm oil producing countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Guatemala and Colombia.

According to records in several export destination countries, especially Europe, palm products have faced discrimination in response to issues, such as damage to rain forests, climate change, and the violation of traditional community rights.

These negative campaigns are viewed as having the potential to cause damage and losses to the nation's economy.

During the opening of the event, Indonesia's Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador Hasan Kleib stated that several factors had hindered the circulation of palm oil products in Europe, all of which came from developed countries and tariff and non-tariff policies, established by governments.

Several speakers, especially those from nations with smaller economies, noted that development of the palm oil industry had transformed the economic conditions in their countries for the better.

"Programs to alleviate poverty, reduce economic gaps, and increase wages have been majorly sustained by the palm oil industry. In its development, the palm oil industry has involved numerous small-scale industry players," the ambassador pointed out.

Margot Loman from the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) also offered balanced information in the framework of the sustainable palm oil industry in the European region, concentrating on the consumer's side, in countering challenges related to environmental and social issues faced by the industry.

"Palm oil is a source of livelihood for several people. Hence, developed countries need to help producing nations to preserve palm oil," he added.

The EPOA admitted that the production of palm oil plays a major role in maintaining economic activities in its producing countries and has made a tangible and indirect contribution by helping people break free from the shackles of poverty.

Moreover, palm oil producing countries will continue to carry out their cooperation with several stakeholders in Geneva, Switzerland, and Brussels, Belgium, to ensure that all policies implemented are justified and are in accordance with the regulations applied in the multilateral forum. 

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