Saturday, September 18

Delegation to meet European parliament members on palm oil


KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) delegation is set to meet members of the European Parliament in Brussels next week to address issues pertinent to palm oil.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer, Dr Kalyana Sundram, said they would also discuss several issues regarding the MEP’s Draft Report on legislative or non-legislative issues, including environmental and health concerns.

“The Draft Report is a preliminary report generated by the so-called ‘experts’ employed by the European Union (EU) as some the citations in the report are not 100 per cent accurate or not generally pertinent to the scenario in Malaysia.

“So we feel obliged to intervene, as we can provide more precise and factual information on the Malaysian scenario,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural Palm Oil Sustainability EU-Malaysia International Discourse yesterday.

Kalyana said the delegation would also address resolutions proposed by the 28-nation block, including a plan to impose an EU-based certification for palm oil.

“They still talk about it, but we hope that the EU will not require an EU-based certification as Malaysia is a producer country, and the certification must come from the producer country.

“As a producer, we are developing our own standards, and we want to make it mandatory,” he said.

In April, the European parliament had voted to phase out unsustainable palm oil by 2020,  and had endorsed the Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) plan for Europe-bound palm and other vegetable oil exports to ensure that they were produced in an environmentally sustainable way.

Kalyana said the EU commission would take comments from Malaysia and other nations into consideration, and then create an updated report.

“We will probably have a more refined report (later),” he said, adding that  Malaysia had reaffirmed its commitment towards the supply of CSPO through its Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standards by end-2019. — Bernama