Palm Oil Leads Sustainability Certification

Other commodities should be put under the spotlight

IISD (the International Institute for Sustainable Development) has just published its second Sustainability Standards Initiative (SSI) report.

Its first SSI published in 2014 was controversial. Why? Because it was clear that palm oil was leading the way in terms of food commodity certification, yet IISD was highly critical of both palm oil and palm oil certification.

What was also clear in … Read More

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Swiss Journalism on Palm Oil is Full of Holes

A documentary on Swiss television show Rundschau, purporting to claim that Swiss farmers should switch away from using Palm Oil in animal feed, has quickly been debunked as ‘fake news’, as it emerges that the proposal would substantially harm both Swiss farmers and consumers.

Rundschau claims that the use of Palm Oil is ‘embarrassing’ and quoted trade union officials calling for Palm Oil use to be ‘stopped’. However, there … Read More

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Importance of G2G Recognition of Standards

Sustainability certification for commodities is growing. One think-tank estimates that there are around 400 sustainability initiatives for different commodities around the globe, ranging from cocoa to beef. Palm oil is no exception. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification is one of the most widely known standards in the global marketplace, but there are no fewer than four sustainability standards for palm oil – more than any other oil crop.… Read More

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French Sustainability Criteria Commission Report: What Does It Mean for Malaysian Palm Oil?

The new French Environment Minister, Nicolas Hulot, has stated publicly that he plans to examine ways to ban Palm Oil – specifically Palm Oil biofuels – from the French market. Malaysian Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong last week sent a clear message that if the EU continues to discriminate against Palm Oil, it would endanger the EU-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement.

Does Minister Hulot’s speech mark the beginning of a … Read More

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ICYMI: Malaysia – EU FTA Unlikely If Europe Discriminates Against Palm Oil

As negotiators meet this week on a Malaysia-EU FTA, the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong sent a clear message to Brussels: an FTA is unlikely if Europe discriminates against Palm Oil.

“Malaysia’s free trade agreement talks with the European Union (EU) is not likely to conclude if Palm Oil continues to be discriminated with tariff and technical trade barriers, Plantation Industries and Commodities Read More

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The EU Fine Print That Could Ban Palm Oil Biofuels

So much of what the European Union does, affects Malaysian Palm Oil. Trade negotiations; environmental rules; customs procedures; the list goes on. The devil, though, is often found in the details of the EU’s smallprint.

The EU is currently reviewing the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the legislation that governs, among other areas, the import, support and use of Palm Oil-based biofuels in the European Union. Previous incarnations of the RED … Read More

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From Timber to Palm: Is FLEGT a Viable Model for Palm Oil?

The recent resolution on Palm Oil by European Parliamentarians put forward a number of policy proposals on Palm Oil imports into Europe. One of them was a ‘FLEGT-style’ (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) regulation for Palm Oil.

This regulatory approach isn’t new. It was first floated in 2012 when the European Commission undertook its broad study on the impact of European demand on global deforestation. Last week, the Commissioner … Read More

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Why Does Norway Want to Ban Malaysian Palm Biofuels?

Not for the reasons you’d think…

Norwegian MPs have recently passed a resolution calling for Palm Oil biofuels to be banned from any and all public procurement in the country. When The Oil Palm learned of this resolution, we immediately assumed the motivation was environmental. After all, Norway has a long history of implementing environmental rules that disadvantage developing countries (despite the fact that Norway’s entire national wealth is built … Read More

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Unpackaging the IDDRI Report for the Truth

The European agricultural sector and the governments that support it dislike palm oil. Palm oil is a cheap, efficient and sustainable product that supports the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe. Over the past decade, palm oil has become the vegetable oil of choice among many food manufacturers. As a result, there have been various attempts by European governments and their proxy organisations to denigrate palm oil on … Read More

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TRADE FOR ALL: The Implications of EU Trade Policy for Malaysian Palm Oil

The EU’s record on trade is patchy. It garnered the reputation as ‘Fortress Europe’ from its agricultural policies and technical standards, which were designed to shield the bloc’s farmers from international competitors.

More recently, it has looked to environmental regulations and health measures as a method of erecting regulatory barriers – mostly to favour European products over imports, or to reduce the competitive advantage of products from outside … Read More

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