THE move by Indonesia and Malaysia, the top two palm oil producers, to
take up the industry trade dispute against the European Union (EU) will
clear the name of the commodity, says Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC)
chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron.
currently too many exaggerated figures being used to “bash” palm oil
from making its mark in the European market, he said.
done a study and there is a case against the EU for the way it has
formulated the Renewable Energy Directive and that is already against
the WTO guidelines,” he said in an interview recently.
was also a recent report stating that the EU, through its environmental
ministries and commissions, is funding up to 70 per cent of the
operating budgets of environmental NGOs.
Such funding implicates the EU for creating barriers to trade for
agricultural products from developing countries.
Bernard Dompok is expected to meet his counterpart in Indonesia later
this month on the possibility of drafting a substantive complaint
against some of the most developed countries in the EU.
strategy of these big economies has stacked a lot of issues against
small countries like Malaysia, making us hapless.”
these issues were used by the environment NGOs to dispute the
sustainable agricultural practices of oil palm growers in Malaysia to
take the “heat” off the European oils like rapeseed which enjoys
Yusof, who has been pursuing the Malaysian fight
against the European environment NGOs for their allegations, admitted
that it could probably take years before the results are seen.
“In the meantime, we will take all avenues to correct the inaccuracies
about the commodity.”
One important fact which Malaysia and
Indonesia want to stress is palm oil’s ability to supply a vital food
component to billions of people around the world while providing
millions of jobs and income to small farmers and plantation workers.
Deforestation is also another area which Malaysia has found some
accusations unfair and unfounded.
“Why should we be dictated
when other oils are not working sustainably and, instead, continue to be
given preferential treatment while in countries like Canada there is
still deforestation going on.”
Malaysia still maintains 56 per
cent of its total land area under forest, thereby keeping its pledge
made at the 1992 Rio Summit to keep at least half of its land as
Source : Business Times by Rupa Damodaran