Pierre Bois D’Enghien

ICYMI: Why Palm Oil Taxes are Neither Effective nor Just

In an opinion editorial featured in Food Navigator, Belgian agronomist Pierre Bois d’Enghien writes about the ineffectiveness of the French Government’s attempt to tax Palm Oil, and why it shouldn’t be reintroduced within the upcoming revision of vegetable oils taxation.

Food Navigator: Why Palm Oil Taxes are Neither Effective nor Just

By Pierre Bois d’Enghien

The French government’s planned palm oil tax was withdrawn in the National Assembly in June as part of the revision of the biodiversity bill. The removal of the tax led to protests from Greens, but was supported by the palm oil sector. In my opinion removing the tax was the right thing to do. What is critical now is that President Hollande commits to not reintroducing the tax, or any other methods that would unjustly target palm oil.

‘First, any French tax on palm oil won’t address the actual causes of deforestation and environmental degradation. And nor can it. Oil palm doesn’t ‘cause’ deforestation.

‘Second, any palm oil tax won’t necessarily encourage certification at the producer end. Certification is expensive and it requires a significant investment on the part of producers.

‘Third, the law may encourage consumption of sustainable palm oil in France, but the bigger question is who gets to determine what ‘sustainable’ palm oil actually is?


Read full opinion editorial here.

By Pierre Bois d'Enghien

Pierre Bois D’Enghien is an agronomist and agricultural expert from Belgium. He has spent his career advising African and international companies about agriculture and sustainability, including SOCFIN in the Cote d’Ivoire, the Feronia group in Congo, and the Belgian companies Condroz Energies. He is an acknowledged expert on plantation agriculture, including palm oil.