PUTRAJAYA (May 11): Malaysia will meet leaders of the European Union (EU) member states in Brussels, Belgium at the end of this month to ensure that palm oil products exported to the EU are not banned with the implementation of the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR).
Assuring that palm oil will not be affected by the implementation of the regulation, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof who is also the Plantation and Commodities Minister said the engagement mission between Malaysia and EU leaders demonstrates the government’s commitment to resolving any issues arising from palm oil.
“We hope to receive a good explanation from them and obtain their commitment so that Malaysia will not be rated (seen) as a high-risk country. This should not happen, especially to smallholders,” he said during his Aidilfitri Open House in Sri Satria here today.
Fadillah said this when asked to comment on the recent statement from the EU ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas who said palm oil produced by smallholders under the Federal Land Development Board (Felda) would not be affected by the implementation of the EUDR.
He said industry players will also participate in the important mission to find a solution to the palm oil issue so that no irresponsible actions are taken when palm oil products are exported to the EU countries.
“Therefore, we want to establish a fine relationship to understand each other as we are also committed to complying with environmental regulations and implementing all international standards including for the workers in Malaysia.
“This includes establishing the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme to ensure compliance with all global standards, especially environmental sustainability, and to prevent any further encroachment of permanent forest reserves and so on,” he said.
Fadillah said Indonesia will also participate in the mission following the meeting and discussion between its President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently.
Last Monday, Jokowi was reported to have said that Indonesia and Malaysia should become partners to work together in the production of palm oil for the future of the commodity industry and to confront the current anti-palm oil lobby in the EU.