Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian Palm Oil Council responds to the false accusations against palm oil leveled by French Environment Minister, Segolene Royal. The CEO of MPOC, Dr Yusof Basiron, issued the following statement:
“Minister Royal is flat wrong, and is misleading the French and European public. The Malaysian Palm Oil industry needs public confirmation from the French Government that Minister Royal’s comments do not reflect official French Government policy towards palm oil. What’s more, Malaysia is the largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, which is evidence in and of itself that Malaysia is not deforesting as Minister Royal, and her far-left Green friends claim.”
Malaysia is proud to preserve 62 per cent of land as forest cover – an unparalleled environmental commitment, recognized by the United Nations and the World Bank. France has a paltry 29 per cent forest cover, by comparison. In addition, 23 per cent of this forest is set aside for protection and conservation and 70 per cent of the total forest area is permanent forest, which means it can never be put into agriculture or human development. In all, Malaysia has 205,000 square kilometers of forest – an area that is more than twice the size of Portugal.
Malaysian Palm Oil, produced by over 200,000 small farmers, is a sustainable and high-quality food product. Palm oil is the most land-efficient oilseed in the world, producing more oil but using less land. France hosts the latest round of COP negotiations in Paris, later this year. It is essential that the French Government, and specifically, Minister Royal, educates herself about basic environmental facts on palm before the start of the COP.
Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil, and is a major exporter of palm oil to Europe. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) represents the interests of palm oil growers and small farmers, in Malaysia.
40 per cent of all palm oil plantations in Malaysia are owned or farmed by small farmers, who have benefited from oil palm cultivation as a route out of poverty in the rural communities. Palm oil has been a major factor in Malaysia reducing poverty from 50 per cent in the 1960s, down to less than 5 per cent today. Today, the palm oil industry is one of the nation’s largest employers, directly employing more than 570,000 people, with another 290,000 people employed downstream.
According to respected economic analysts Europe Economics, palm oil contributes substantially to the French economy. 4,600 jobs in France are linked to palm oil imports; palm oil contributes 170m EUR in tax revenues to France; and over 320m EUR in French GDP is attributed to palm oil.