RSPO Will Help Thwart Anti Palm Oil Campaigns In Europe

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will help British importers to be aware that Malaysia produces the commodity on a sustainable basis as well as thwart campaigns by non-governmental organisations and activist groups in Europe which are aiming to influence decision makers to stop its import through legislation.

As such, it is important for palm oil producers and exporters to address the issue on palm oil in the United Kingdom (UK) through the RSPO so that importers know that local palm adheres to global standards on sustainability, British Minister of Trade and Investments, Lord Mervyn Davies, said Tuesday.

“Constant dialogue and engagement will be the answer. The RSPO is fundamental,” he said during a question and answer session at a luncheon here.

He was responding to issues raised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron, who was also attending the luncheon, that NGOs in UK were so aggressive against palm oil to the extent that campaigns were beginning to influence decision makers in the European Union to introduce legislation to stop the importation of palm oil.

MPOC is missioned to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.

On the contrary, palm oil growers, buyers and food companies have been urged to walk away from the roundtable process by a leading expert on NGOs campaigns against industries.

Don D’Cruz, a Malaysian-born specialist who has spent a decade fighting NGO campaigns on a whole range of issues, said Monday that although the roundtable process was “well-meaning” and “good-intentioned”, it was probably going to cause a great deal of damage to the palm oil industry in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

“The roundtable process has provided western NGOs with an invaluable opportunity to conduct indepth research into the industry in countries like Malaysia,” D’Cruz said.

“Basically they have a better idea as to how to go about destroying the industry in Malaysia because of the intelligence they have obtained,” he said. Source: BERNAMA

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