CPOPC Protests UK Supermarket over Palm Oil Ban

Photo by UNDP

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)—The intergovernmental organization Council of Palm Oil Producers Countries (CPOPC), which has members countries of two top palm oil producers in the world: Indonesia and Malaysia, protests UK Supermarket Iceland Co policy over palm oil ban in their retail chain by the end of 2018.

The CPOPC called The Iceland Co policy as discriminative and discredited the image of palm oil in Europe. As a result, it will hurt the palm oil industry around the world.

“We sent a strong protest to the Managing Director of Iceland Foods Ltd Richard Walker through an official letter,” said Executive Director of CPOPC Mahendra Siregar on Sunday (15/04), as quoted by Bisnis Indonesia.

CPOPC hoped to invite the Managing Director of Iceland Foods Ltd to discuss this issue further and to directly observe the palm oil plantation management in Indonesia.

He explained the palm oil has the highest productivity compared to other vegetable oil. It produces 6 ton per ha, while the soybeans and sunflower oil only produce only 0.6 ton per ha, and rapeseed produces 0.3 ton per ha.

With the highest productivity, palm oil becomes the most sustainable vegetable oil since the global demand continues growing. The palm oil ban will lead to a massive land shifting for other vegetable oil plant to replace the same amount of palm oil. Furthermore, palm oil production also uses smaller water than other vegetable oils.

According to Siregar, the campaigns will lead to the severe land degradation, flora and fauna destruction, pollution of groundwater and ocean, and increased CO2 emission.

He also questioned the Iceland Co that claimed 85 per cent consumers will ban the palm oil. In his opinion, the claimed as a result of massive policy by the EU that discriminate palm oil from the other vegetable oil.

The Iceland Co is the largest supermarket chain in Europe with a total retail of 857 units around Europe, mostly in the UK. It has around 2.2 per cent of food market share in the UK.

The Iceland Co policy in line with the European Parliament voted earlier this year to prohibit sales of biofuels made from the palm oils by 2021 in order to prevent deforestation and meet their ambitious climate goals.

Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil with last year total exports of 28 million tonnes of crude palm oil, valued US$23 billion. Crude palm oil contributed to 12 per cent of the Indonesia’s export.

Indonesia’s government decided to use an offensive strategy to handle this issue. The Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita said the country will stop imports good from the Europe if they implemented the palm oil band.

For Norwegia, the government will stop fish import from the country. In addition, Indonesia will also cut the Airbus and Boeing procurement from Europe.

Email: fauzulmuna@theinsiderstories.