TANJUNG MALIM, April 8 (Bernama) — The ambassadors from several European Union (EU) countries are ready to present the pleas of oil palm smallholders for the bloc to call off its plans to restrict Malaysian palm oil products effective 2030.
Felcra Berhad (Felcra) chairman Datuk Nageeb Wahab said the ambassadors gave their commitment after visiting the Felcra Changkat Sulaiman oil palm estate in Sungkai here today in conjunction with the “Field Day with EU Ambassadors” programme.
The envoys who attended the programme were delegation head and Ambassador of European Union Maria Castillo Fernandez; Karin Mossenlechner (the Netherlands); and Jose Cardinos Lafuente (Spain).
Nageeb said the delegation was exposed to the various processes of planting oil palm trees in Malaysia, especially those cultivated by smallholders, and given a briefing, including into the fate awaiting the smallholders should the EU stick with its decision to restrict palm oil products from this country.
“The main reason the EU wants to restrict the use of palm oil is because of deforestation, but we find that unacceptable as today we have shown them what it is that we do,” he told reporters after the programme here today.
Meanwhile, Fernandez promised to do what they could now that they understood the smallholders’ situation.
“I want to make it very clear that I know palm oil is very important to your life and your children’s future, so we are here to try to understand better what this all means to you and to pass the message back to Europe.
“Europe is not trying to hurt the smallholders, we understand how important this is for you. Please be assured that there is no ban and the market is free,” she said.
Lafuente also stressed that the EU was not banning palm oil but prioritising the sustainability of nature.
“We are not against palm oil, we are serious about the sustainability of people. We are here to understand you and we will continue our dialogue,” he said. — Bernama