Smallholders support Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries’ proposed global alliance to counter negative campaigns

The palm oil industry has been the subject of international negative attention and consumer boycotts for allegedly clearing biodiversity-rich tropical rainforests. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
The palm oil industry has been the subject of international negative attention and consumer boycotts for allegedly clearing biodiversity-rich tropical rainforests. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Representatives that attended the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries’ (CPOPC) latest forum have stated their support on efforts to establish a global alliance to counter negative campaigns or stigmatisation of palm oil.

“We can collaborate to fight the negative campaign against palm oil, to promote cooperation and share best agricultural practices,” CPOPC deputy executive director Dupito D Simamora said in his opening remarks during the council’s second round of smallholder outreach programme (SOP).

He also said the smallholders have an important role to play in CPOPC and together with the council, could promote a stable remunerative palm oil price in the interests of all producing countries.

The palm oil industry has been the subject of international negative attention and consumer boycotts for allegedly clearing biodiversity-rich tropical rainforests.

Held yesterday, the online SOP forum aimed at reaching out to smallholders in Central America and Latin America was attended by representatives of smallholder associations and groups from Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.

The SOP serves as a platform for smallholders of palm oil producing countries to share, cooperate and establish a global communication network including in the context of achieving sustainable development goals 2030.

Meanwhile, CPOPC executive director Tan Sri Yusof Basiron in his closing remarks asserted that palm oil is the commodity of the future and a major contributor to the country’s economy.

“The increasing demand could be fulfilled sustainably by palm oil because of its compatibility on the sustainability standard.”

Having said that, the industry veteran urged palm oil producing countries to take advantage of the opportunities provided by palm oil and work together to defend the commodity against campaigns which distort the facts.

The first round of the SOP forum was held last month and attended by 42 representatives of smallholders in Asia Pacific such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Papua New Guinea.

The third round is scheduled to be held next week, for which several representatives of smallholders from Africa have confirmed their participation. — Bernama

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