RM30m for new palm oil campaign

pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government has allocated RM30 million to fight anti-palm oil sentiments worldwide under its new “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan” campaign.

Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin said the fund would be parked under state agency and industry body, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

“This will cover management and promotional expenses to promote Malaysian-made palm oil globally,” he told the Dewan Negara yesterday.

The deputy minister was responding to Senator Datuk Razali Idris who inquired about costs involved in the rebranded promotional campaign.

The Puncak Borneo MP reiterated that the government’s view the slogan was more universal and can be accepted worldwide.

He said the new campaign replaces “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign introduced last year and could help Malaysia penetrate markets in the Middle East, South-East Asia and Africa.

As for the Europe Union (EU), Willie said the MPOC, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and the Malaysian embassy in the EU, have been tasked to enhance the marketability of the country’s oil palm products, particularly on its sustainability.

Razali also asked if the previous administration had appointed three companies to execute its campaign though with little success.

“We cannot say that it was a 100% failure as there are some positives to derive from. However, I would have to admit that the effectiveness and success of the campaign are not at a level we can be proud of,” the deputy minister said.

Malaysia accounts for 28% of the world’s palm oil production and 33% of global exports.

The Perikatan Nasional government introduced the new slogan in July as an effort to counter the EU’s restriction on oil palm products.

The EU last year decided to phase out palm-based transport fuels from its renewable energy sector by 2030.

The 27-member union is the second-largest export destination for Malaysian palm oil, behind only to China.

As of August this year, total palm oil exports to the EU stood at 1.34 million tonnes. China is ahead with 1.84 million tonnes, while India is in third place with 1.18 million tonnes.