Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF)
and Indonesian palm oil producers must set up a joint council to
counter anti-palm oil campaigns by Western non-governmental
Former primary industries minister Tun Dr
Lim Keng Yaik said something must be done by the industries because
most of the time the allegations by these NGOs are half-truths or
“The palm oil industries of both countries are
worth over US$50 billion (RM155 billion) a year, commanding a market
share of 60 per cent of the world’s 17 oils and fats market.
“Naturally, our competitors like the soyabean and rapeseed producers
will not take this sitting down and they will use NGOs like Friends of
the Earth or the World Wildlife Fund to spread lies about our palm oil
industry,” Dr Lim told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after
opening the Second International Conference on the Future of Palm Oil
business 2010 themed “Is palm oil under threat?”
The council would complement similar moves at the government level
under a 2007 pact between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. The two countries
set up a technical group to mount a palm oil pro-industry campaign in
Malaysia’s timber industry did the same in the 1980s to
fight NGOs that claimed illegal cutting and unsustainable industry
Dr Lim said the palm oil council should be based in
Europe and the US, backed by public relation firms funded by the
industry via a cess collection at a rate of 0.001 per cent of revenue
“The industry should also appoint an ambassador
who is articulate and participate in all their forums to debate the
NGOs with well researched facts and figures on our side and pay him a
monthly salary of US$20,000 (RM62,000) a month,” he said.
Lim argued that Western edible oil producers cannot use trade
protectionist measures anymore. Therefore, they have been using NGOs to
attack Malaysia and Indonesia under the guise of environmental concerns.
Source : Business Times
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