EU must recognise palm oil producing countries’ efforts in meeting EUDR – PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged the European Union (EU) to recognise and appreciate the efforts of palm oil producing countries in meeting the EU Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR).
He emphasised that governments of palm oil producing countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have taken aggressive and responsible measures to comply with the regulation.
“The new Prime Minister of Thailand (Srettha Thavisin) has given me the assurance that Thailand would come on board to work together with Malaysia and Indonesia and hopefully other countries in presenting our case, particularly to the EU,” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC 2023) here today.
PIPOC 2023’s theme “Navigating Uncertainties, Building Resilience” reflects the industry’s concerted efforts in addressing global challenges and striving for greater heights.
Anwar also reiterated that the EU should focus on the current efforts taken by the producing countries instead of dwelling on the past.
“I think countries in Europe must show appreciation and reciprocate — not necessarily (by) supporting financially but at least in giving that recognition — and therefore recognise the efforts by Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in this regard.
“In the desire to continue with this reduction in carbon emissions, (they need) to take into consideration all the problems of the emerging economies,” he added.
Malaysian agrocommodity products, primarily palm oil, timber, cocoa, and rubber exports, will be subject to the EUDR, which is expected to take effect from January 2025.
Anwar also called for a fair and balanced implementation of the EUDR and reiterated that Malaysia is working with Indonesia to establish the EUDR Ad-Hoc Joint Task Force to make sure that the regulation’s outcome would not adversely impact on the livelihood of agricommodity producers, especially smallholders.
He noted that the overwhelming performance of the palm oil sector is contributed by smallholders who account for 28 per cent of the total area for oil palm cultivation.
“We are also proposing for a possible synergy between smallholders and major companies to increase palm oil productivity,” he said.
Globally, palm oil is the largest produced vegetable oil, accounting for 32 per cent of the 246 million tonnes of global oils and fats in 2022.
Anwar said global production of palm oil is expected to reach 81.44 million tonnes in 2023, increasing by almost three per cent, which is achieved by using only about six per cent of the total land used by oil crops.