Malaysia, Indonesia agree to send palm oil mission to European Union – DPM Fadillah

JAKARTA — Malaysia will formulate strategies with Indonesia for a mission to the European Union (EU) to find out and give feedback on the bloc’s policy development on palm oil, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah, who is also the Minister of Plantation and Commodities, said the mission will put forth scientific facts, economic interests in a social context and estate practices applied in both countries.

“We will bring along representatives of smallholders to give our views,” he told a media conference here after meeting with Indonesia’s  Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto.

Malaysia has taken over the chair of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) for 2023 from Indonesia. 

Fadillah said Malaysia and Indonesia are in agreement on preserving the environment, including sustainable logging when clearing land for plantations.

“We always strive to comply with regulations on the palm oil industry, but they must be fair and understand the situation in both countries where we try to help smallholders come out of poverty,” he added. 

The minister said the CPOPC needs to help smallholders comply with plantation regulations and enhance their estate yields with the support of the government and the corporate sector.

Smallholders comprise about 27 per cent of plantations in Malaysia while in Indonesia it is 40 per cent.

Fadillah said the CPOPC will also contact UN agencies so that the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and the ISPO (Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil) certifications are recognised not just in the EU but globally.

The MSPO, which was introduced in 2013, has been reviewed by both local and international stakeholders through public consultations, and revised standards of the certification scheme were launched in 2022.

The ISPO is Indonesia’s national sustainability certification scheme for palm oil and was introduced in 2011. — BERNAMA