Categories
The Oil Palm The Oil Palm

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 for Environment Karmenu Vella stated in an official response that it is “considering the development of a Union action plan on deforestation and forest degradation.” In other words, the Commission is studying a policy proposal such as a FLEGT for Palm Oil.

So what is the FLEGT Regulation?

As it is, it currently applies to certain timber and timber products. There are two parts to the regulation.

At the European end, a ‘due diligence’ regulation has been introduced. Anyone who puts specified timber products (including paper) on to the European market must undertake ‘due diligence’ on the legality of the product.

Legality in this sense means that it has been harvested and processed according to all applicable local laws and regulations, that appropriate taxes have been paid on the products (e.g. border taxes), and that risk of corruption has been minimised.

Companies can choose how they comply with this. They can use legality verification and chain-of-custody systems that are offered by auditing companies, or they can develop their own methods for assessing legality.

There are two components of non-compliance. The first is by not undertaking the due diligence process. The second is if in the event of ‘illegal’ timber the seller decides to put the timber on the market regardless.

The second part of the FLEGT model is assisting exporting developing countries to ensure that their exports are ‘legal’. And this is where things get more complicated.

Exporting countries enter a bilateral agreement with the European Union called a ‘Voluntary Partnership Agreement’ (VPA).

A VPA aims to reform and consolidate forest laws and governance in the harvesting country, and establish an export licensing system for ‘legal’ products entering the EU. These FLEGT licenses constitute a waiver for the due diligence checks.

Has FLEGT been successful?

FLEGT has had limited success. A report issued by the European Court of Auditors in 2015 calculated the cost of the EU program at EUR300 million (around MYR1.4 billion), at which point no FLEGT licensing systems were operational after a 12-year project period.

One of the upsides of the program is that it has hastened forest law reform in many countries. There is an upside for many producer-country governments that may have previously been short-changed on revenue from illegal harvesting activities.

Can FLEGT be applied to other commodities such as Palm Oil, Soybean or Beef?

There are two immediate hurdles.

First is that FLEGT applies to legality, not sustainability. No serious observer would suggest or could claim that there is ‘illegal Palm Oil production’, but unregulated deforestation is possible in many countries – and that deforestation might impact commodities across the board..

Defining a product’s sustainability for export purposes would be particularly difficult as there is no universally accepted definition of either sustainability or sustainable production. Smallholder farmers, for example, cannot meet the same environmental standards as large producers (and they certainly cannot meet standards routinely demanded by Western NGOs and European Governments). But to call smallholder farmers ‘unsustainable’ is absurd given their social and economic significance.

Second, if a broader FLEGT program truly wants to achieve an objective of tackling deforestation and environmental degradation, it would need to be applied to a range of commodities. Why? Focusing on Palm Oil is not the most effective route to combating deforestation. As has been pointed out several times over – by the EU’s own research – the biggest contributor to agricultural deforestation is beef. The biggest contributor to global deforestation from European demand is soybean. Indeed, even Western NGOs have accepted this fact and have resolved to focus less on Palm Oil and more on other commodities.

Hypothetically, if these hurdles were to be overcome, what would a FLEGT model for Palm Oil look like?

Ideally, the due diligence component would require checking that Palm Oil was produced according to a national government-endorsed standard (such as MSPO) or a voluntary standard (RSPO), or a company-based assurance system. The export licensing component would be based on these standards.

Palm Oil would be ahead of the curve in this context; no other industry (with the possible exception of forest products) has the same level of sustainability certification that Palm Oil does. As has been noted by RSPO, there is an excess of certified sustainable Palm Oil, such has been the producer commitment to sustainability.

There are, however, potential hurdles.

Small countries would need to consider whether the compliance costs associated with developing and/or implementing a sustainability system are worth it. The question would be whether the Europeans would be willing to fund the development of national standards in poorer countries.

The other question is whether small countries without a VPA would have a case for arguing that they are effectively being blocked from EU markets, which would potentially clash with WTO rules. This would definitely shape how the EU approaches any agreements, and whether it includes other commodities that are responsible for greater levels of deforestation, such as soybean.

There are broader questions for Malaysia. Malaysia was one of the first countries to start negotiating with the EU on a VPA for timber and has been doing so for ten years. A timber legality assurance scheme (or certification) has been developed. Where the negotiations go from here remains to be seen and there will be lessons to be learned.

However, the following is clear: EU policymakers want to implement this regulation on Palm Oil.

The clear lesson from the FLEGT for timber is that engagement is key. It is a mistake to assume that any of the truths about Malaysian Palm Oil that we take for granted here are known or respected in European capitals.

The broader question for the EU though is how far it is prepared to go down this route.  It will likely be expensive, controversial and potentially have little impact on global deforestation. It will need to be prepared to devote considerable resources over the long term if it is to undertake this exercise and remain on-side with many of its trading partners. The exporting countries remember the timber and paper wars well.

If the current FLEGT process is any guide, this will be a drawn out process.

Categories
The Oil Palm The Oil Palm Unclassified

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 of the EU. These include measures to restrict imports of timber and paper from Asia and restrictions on imports of US beef.

Despite this, the EU has attempted to maintain its trade bona fides; it wants to be seen as a reliable trade partner. It made much of its ‘Trade For All’ strategy when it was first published in 2015, which expanded on its previous 2012 trade strategy. Both expand the notion of what trade policy should set out to achieve. It should, according to the EU, foster sustainable (economic, environmental and social) development, not just economic development.

For this reason, the EU has incorporated and aggressively promoted a range of policy concerns that are well outside of the trade frame. These include human rights, environmental management, climate change, and social justice. It has included such issues within Free Trade Agreements, publicly pressured partner countries, and used a variety of other means to promote these concerns as part of ‘trade policy’.

There has also been a shift in focus of EU trade officials towards Asia. In 2012, the EU paid almost no attention to trade with Asia.  This has changed. With a pending FLEGT regulation for Palm Oil from Brussels, what do these two directions in policy mean for Malaysian Palm Oil?

First to Malaysia. It’s apparent from the Trade For All document that the EU now considers Asia to be a priority. This is a change. Previously, the EU’s trade policy relationship with Asia was very much reactive. The maintenance of the market share of European companies (mostly manufacturers) within the European market was the priority.

However, as consumer demand within the EU waned, European companies (mostly German manufacturers) have struggled. Exports outside of the Eurozone became a priority. Asia, particularly China, Korea and ASEAN, with growing middle classes and consumer demand were the obvious candidates. Access to ASEAN markets – including Malaysia – has become a central plank of the EU’s export strategy. The emergence of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership put additional pressure on Europe to re-focus towards Asia. Trade agreements with ASEAN countries have become a priority.

In some ways we’ve been here before when the EU and ASEAN launched inter-regional negotiations in the early 2000s. But in 2008, the EU effectively called off the negotiations. The reason was that it objected to Myanmar’s record on human rights. The EU stated any agreement couldn’t include Myanmar, leading to an impasse.

Since then, the EU has instead chosen to pursue bilateral deals with individual countries as “building blocks” for a ASEAN-EU agreement. This includes Vietnam and Singapore. Both the EU and Malaysia have stated that negotiations will re-start in 2017 following a stocktaking exercise – this is further underlined by the Trade For All document.

The key difference now is that EU companies need to find new export markets for goods and services, and they need to invest in markets that will generate growth. The relative size of Malaysia’s middle class is bigger than any other in ASEAN with the exception of Singapore. The Asian Development Bank predicts Malaysian household consumption will continue to rise.

But EU exporters face considerable competition in Malaysia. Germany’s biggest export to Malaysia is circuitry and electronics, but its exports are massively outweighed by Asian and Pacific trade partners. It is a similar story for many other European exports, including agriculture and cars (dominated by Japan). As Asia-Pacific trade relations become more integrated, either under the TPP or by ongoing reviews of existing trade agreements, access for EU exporters will become more critical.

This means that Malaysia and other ASEAN nations will have greater leverage when negotiating European market access.

How will Palm Oil be handled during these negotiations? Anti-Palm Oil campaigners will use the negotiations as a platform for demonising Palm Oil and further demonising the product among European consumers and purchasers. And even those that are supposedly supportive of Palm Oil in Europe would certainly attempt to use any negotiations with Malaysia (or Indonesia) to secure inclusion of special conditions for Palm Oil exports leaving for the EU.

At the same time, Malaysia could use negotiations to call on Member States – such as France – to wind back any proposals that would place onerous burdens on Palm Oil imports.  For example, Malaysia’s deputy trade minister stated that negotiations will include a response to and discussion of the European Parliament Resolution that was critical of Palm Oil.  For that matter, Malaysia can insist any agreement recognise MSPO.

In terms of what a negotiated agreement would look like, the EU-Vietnam agreement is a good indicator.

In the agreement, there is a commitment that neither country will weaken environmental laws in order to promote trade or investment or introduce an environmental regulation as a disguised restriction on trade.

There’s also an agreement that countries will work together to prevent technical barriers to trade and recognise each other’s technical standards – in Malaysia’s case this would include sustainability standards such as the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standard.

The significance of such clauses is that they prevent backsliding by either party. So, if recognition of MSPO is part of the agreement, it becomes very difficult for the EU to renege on any recognition.

Underpinning these is a dispute resolution mechanism that parties can use if things go awry, if for example a member state introduced a law or regulation that can be considered a trade barrier.

So, if a regulation or a standard is introduced and can be considered to conflict with EU rules, there will be a mechanism for Malaysia to complain about it.

Similarly, the EU’s laws require that member states comply with the EU’s competencies as they relate to trade and harmonised standards.

The problem for Malaysia and Malaysian Palm Oil isn’t so much the outcome of the negotiations. Trade agreements are a negotiation and they should be of mutual benefit. The problem is the mud-slinging that will occur on the way to an agreement.

Categories
The Oil Palm The Oil Palm

Malaysia’s Ominous Warning to Europe in the Face of Renewed Efforts to Discriminate against Palm Oil

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak stated in The Sun Daily that ‘whoever boycotts oil palm products, they will face retaliation’.

The Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, similarly stated that ‘Malaysia has strict standards. If they have unfair practice against us, we too can retaliate’.

These comments come on the heels of a baseless campaign by European interests against the global Palm Oil industry, and in particular, Malaysia, a key regional friend of the European Union.  Worse, the European Commission has begun to sing the same tune as the European Parliament, and repeat the same baseless claims about Malaysian Palm Oil.

The comments by the Prime Minister and Minister, respectively, are a clear signal to leaders across Europe that efforts to erect barriers and additional costs to Palm Oil through the EU FLEGT Action Plan/Deforestation Action Plan will be met with retaliation. On the other hand, should Europe want to constructively engage and take into account the facts on the ground and the interests of Malaysia, we stand ready to work together.

The Sun Daily: Najib threatens to retaliate EU’s resolution on oil palm

By Amar Shah Mohsen

‘The Prime Minister said he recently spoke with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Asean summit about sending delegates from their respective countries to the EU parliament in the coming weeks to explain and clarify matters’

‘We (Malaysia and Indonesia) will convince these countries (European Parliament) that whatever claims they have said are baseless. We will also tell them that we are not without our own capabilities’

‘We too buy products from them. So whoever boycotts oil palm products, they will face retaliation from us Malaysia and Indonesia’, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said during the Malaysian Palm Oil Industry 100 Years celebration.

‘EU’s claim that palm oil products are leading to deforestation is inaccurate, stressing that Malaysia has strict standards. If they have unfair practice against us, we too can retaliate. Let’s not get into specifics. But we will try to solve the matter’, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said.

Read the full article here: Najib threatens to retaliate EU’s resolution on oil palm

—–

The Star: 100 Years of Glory and the Next Horizon

by Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities

‘Over these 100 years we have witnessed extraordinary growth and innovation. From its humble inception, the palm oil industry is today the main pillar of the commodities sector, contributing RM67.6bil in export value in 2016, equivalent to 6.1% of Malaysia’s GDP. With more than two million Malaysians involved on the palm oil value chain including 644,522 smallholders, its impact on the well-being of the rakyat is huge’

‘Despite these successes our road to 100 years has not been the easiest … the opponents are primarily Europeans and the assault includes the French Nutella Tax … and the more recent resolution by the European Parliament. It is essentially a trade issue camouflaged as an environment protection measure’

Read the full opinion editorial here: 100 Years of Glory and the Next Horizon

Categories
The Oil Palm The Oil Palm

New Evidence: Criticism of Saturated Fats Is ‘Plain Wrong’

Saturated fats are not unhealthy. That is the clear, unambiguous conclusion from a new meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (an affiliate of the world-renowned British Medical Journal). Leading scientists from the U.K. and U.S.A. stated in clear language that the world’s approach to saturated fats “urgently requires a paradigm shift … Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong”.

To many, this may sound revolutionary – and against ‘received wisdom’. In fact, this is not all that new. Scientists have been calling attention to this for some time. Some media outlets have now seized on these latest results to tell this important story.

Last year, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) itself published a re-evaluation of previous studies, that also questioned the consensus that saturated fat is bad for you. This comes on the heels of other such research, over recent years.

Dr Elena Fattore, Head of Environmental Risk Unit, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, conducted a recent review of literature and concluded that  “epidemiological evidence does not support a role of saturated fatty acids, palmitic acid or palm oil in cancer development.”

Why does this matter? These new studies confirm saturated fats are not as they have been portrayed for decades in international media. For many years, consumers have been told to reduce their saturated fat consumption to improve their health, switching to low fat diets. This perception was constantly reinforced – meaning that many healthy fats and oils, including palm oil, have been unjustly stigmatized as unhealthy.

The new research changes all of that: science now proves that those opponents to saturated fats were wrong.

What must happen now is that the new evidence on saturated fats must be made mainstream. We must listen to the new body of expert evidence. The latest BJSM study could not be clearer: “… [there is] no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke, or (5) type 2 diabetes.”

Other experts are just as clear.  Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge has also studied the issue: “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”

Dr Pramod Khosla, Associate Professor at Wayne State University is clear: “As the food-industry seeks alternatives for the use of partially hydrogenated liquid vegetable oils, to use in solid fat formulations, palm oil may be one of the viable alternatives by virtue of its fatty acid composition.”

The discussion on saturated fats now must take up this new evidence, at every level: media, policymakers, regulators, companies. This is not just a scientific breakthrough; it is a public health breakthrough also. We cannot afford to cling to yesterday’s dogma any more.

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The Oil Palm

Environmental Activism Dressed Up as Health Research

Recently, two US universities launched an unprovoked attack on the Malaysian Palm Oil industry, peddling misleading statistics about the haze event of 2015. Greenpeace has used these erroneous figures to spread fears about Malaysian Palm Oil, including at the EPOC Conference currently underway in Warsaw.

Harvard and Columbia Universities launched a report that attempted to quantify the number of deaths from the haze event of 2015.  In doing so, they have grave errors that have unfairly damaged the respected record of the Malaysian Palm Oil industry, spread misplaced health fears and damaged the view of Malaysians towards these prestigious universities.

Let’s establish something from the start: there is zero doubt that the haze events do have an impact on public health. That is clear, and unarguable. And there is zero doubt that if the level of haze is reduced, there will be a reduction in these health impacts.

However, advancing good fire management or the public’s health was not on these academics minds.  Rather, the goal was to advance an agenda that appeases their rich New York City donor class at the expense of 300,000 hard-working Malaysian small farmers.  This is Western greed and alarmism at its worst.

The Claims

Harvard and Columbia researchers have estimated the number of premature deaths as being in excess of 100,000 people, with more than 6,000 in Malaysia and more than 2,000 in Singapore.

The Malaysian Deputy Director General of Health Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran rejected the findings and said of the results, ‘no such thing’ had been the case in reality.

The results have also been rebuffed by the governments of Indonesia and Singapore.

Indonesia’s country’s disaster mitigation agency said the research “could be baseless or they have the wrong information”. Singapore’s Ministry of Health said the study was “not reflective of the actual situation”. But it’s no surprise that government officials have reacted angrily.

The Data

First, the paper doesn’t consider the extensive empirical data available on emergency attendances and hospital admissions in both Singapore and Malaysia.

Both countries have quite reliable hospital and public health data. Most of it is published regularly or accessible to the public. Yet none of this is sourced in the new paper.

There have also been at least two public health studies on hospital admissions in the Klang Valley and Singapore that have utilised this data. The Malaysian study in fact examined the hospital admissions over a seven-year period between 2000 and 2007, based on particulate data. Neither of these studies appear in the new article’s citations.

Second, the article cites the haze events of 1997 and 2006 as baselines. The article appears to ignore the possibility that public health measures – warning systems, public service announcements – have improved significantly in two decades, particularly in Singapore and Malaysia. Awareness of potential risks has likely lessened any impacts. This is something that could be verified with empirical data from national health systems.

There is a possible reason that much health data was overlooked or left out: this new paper is not really about health – it is really about environmental dogma. The analysis and data collection on actual health impacts is quite small. The bulk of the paper is about improving land tenure in Indonesia. The lead authors are overwhelmingly from environmental schools; there is only one pure health academic out of the 12 authors.

The underlying question, then, must be this: why has the ‘100,000 deaths’ become the headline for the paper?

The answer is simple: opportunism. This narrative they have alighted upon is public health, and the shocking headline is premature deaths due to the (environmental) haze event.

This is despite the research saying that fire hotspots in palm oil concessions had actually fallen:

“Although oil palm concessions have previously been implicated as a major driver of peat burning in Indonesia (Koh et al 2011), we find that burning in oil palm concessions in 2006 accounted for only 11% of total FRP [i.e. hotspots] in Sumatra and 32% in Kalimantan. In 2015, these contributions declined to just 5% and 20%, respectively.”

The Harvard and Columbia researchers would also have been well aware that NGOs would jump on this figure and use it as a stick to beat the industry with. It’s also therefore not surprising that the paper’s lead researcher has undertaken joint research with Greenpeace in the past.

What the researchers and Greenpeace have ended up doing is generating a simple headline that betrays the difficulty of finding a solution to a complex problem on the ground. The net result is environmental advocacy masquerading as public health concerns.

Harvard & Columbia: Manufacturing Junk Science

This matters, because it undermines some important research principles. A goal of attempting to quantify public health outcomes in one country based on land-use management policy and practices in another is a minefield. Land tenure is an inherently political issue that touches on governance, legal systems and property rights. Land use management is intertwined with economic considerations. Fire management – and environmental management more broadly – has at its core financial management and administrative capacity. Each of these issues is big enough on its own; they should be solved for their own sakes. To try to manufacture headlines around public health as a way of simply glossing over these challenges is just opportunistic and unprofessional headline-grabbing.

This is a clear point where ‘research’ crosses over into advocacy. The scholars involved should publicly decry the Greenpeace action and state what their intentions actually are, and what is actually proven (or not) by the little hard health data in their new report. A fundamental question needs to be posed, and answered: are they health researchers or environmental campaigners?

Lastly, who paid for the report?  The study has been backed by nearly USD4 million in grants from the US-based Rockefeller Foundation, which has a history of supporting groups that are anti-palm oil.

Categories
The Oil Palm

Malaysian Palm Oil Council: New Study Outlines Global Economic Benefits of Palm Oil

Palm Oil Imports Add $39bn to Global Economy; Create 2.9 Million Jobs

Kuala Lumpur (5 October 2016) – The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) commissioned the London based consulting firm Europe Economics to quantify the enormous benefits of palm oil for the world economy.

The new study uses economic modelling to analyse palm oil’s role as the world’s most popular, land-efficient and cost-effective oil, and measure the positive impacts for importing countries.

Europe Economics found that:

  • Palm oil imports add $39bn of GDP growth to the global economy
  • Palm oil imports are associated with the creation of 2.9 million jobs globally
  • Palm oil imports contributed the following to the USA, EU 28, India and China:
    • USA: $8.76BN in GDP; $860M in tax revenues and 62,000 jobs
    • EU 28: €6.42BN in GDP; €1.2BN in tax revenues and 93,620 jobs
    • India: Rs221BN in GDP; Rs23.84BN in tax revenues and 1,134,000 jobs
    • China: ¥59.31BN in GDP; ¥6.16BM in tax revenues and 929,000 jobs

An infographic illustration of the report’s findings is available online: http://www.palmoileconomics.org

The CEO of MPOC, Dr. Yusof Basiron issued the following statement:

“This is a groundbreaking new study, illustrating palm oil’s role as a provider of economic and social benefits to the global economy. Palm oil production brings substantial benefits to the people of Malaysia; it is clear from this new research that palm oil also brings substantial benefits to businesses and consumers in importing countries.

‘‘The success of palm oil as both an essential food source, and as a renewable energy, demonstrates the value that palm oil provides for producers, manufacturers and consumers around the world.

“The evidence is clear: palm oil must be recognized and welcomed as a major contributor to jobs and growth, generating billions of dollars of benefits, and creating millions of jobs”.

World exports of palm oil almost quadrupled between 1997 and 2013, leading to major increases in value along the supply chain. Europe Economics found that the biggest positive contributions from palm oil imports are to be found in the manufacturing, distribution and services sectors.

 

Key Facts about Malaysian Palm Oil

Malaysia is the second-largest producer of palm oil, and a major exporter. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) represents the interests of palm oil growers and small farmers, in Malaysia.

40% of all oil palm plantations in Malaysia are owned or farmed by small farmers, who have benefited from oil palm cultivation. Palm oil has been a major factor in Malaysia reducing poverty from 50% in the 1960s, down to less than 5% today. The palm oil industry directly employs more than 570,000 people, with another 290,000 people employed downstream.

Environment

The allegation that Malaysia is deforesting and destroying biodiversity is inaccurate. The Malaysian Government has committed to protecting at least 50% of land area as forest – a bold and far-sighted environmental commitment that no other country has matched.

This commitment by Malaysia has been recognized by the United Nations and the World Bank. Malaysia is a recognized world-leader in forest protection.

Malaysia is committed to a balanced policy that allows for both land development for agriculture (including palm oil) and forest protection. Palm oil covers just 0.3% of the world’s agricultural land, and has the highest yield of any oilseed crop.

Health & Nutrition

Palm oil is a balanced oil, with 50% saturated and 50% unsaturated fatty acids. This balance provides excellent qualities for baking and food production. Palm oil is free of GMOs, and has been used as a replacement for dangerous trans fats, in Europe.

Multiple researchers and experts across Europe and worldwide confirm the many benefits of palm oil, and that the level of consumption in Europe is perfectly normal. Institutions confirming these facts on palm oil and health include studies from the University of Cambridge; the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition; the French Food & Health Foundation; and the Mario Negri Institute in Milan.

Categories
The Oil Palm

The Campaign Against Palm Oil Biofuel Heats Up

Green NGOs, anti-biofuel campaigners and competing vegetable oils producers are starting to escalate their campaign against Palm Oil ahead of the revision of Renewable Energy Directive (RED) that will occur later this year.

The anti-palm oil campaign has recruited politicians, including Member of the European Parliament Maria Teresa Giménez Barbat, a “centre-right liberal” to launch one of the first attacks. Recently, she authored a parliamentary question that condemned the use of Palm Oil in biofuels.

She claimed that Palm Oil leads to deforestation. What she should have said is that poverty leads to deforestation, and that clearing land and growing crops – palm oil, rice or anything else – is a way of escaping poverty. This is known as forest transition, a key step in a developing economy’s path to prosperity. Ms Gimenez Barbat should also have mentioned that by taking this step and growing oil palm, Malaysia has lifted millions out of poverty, and built a new rural middle class. Forest transition for oil palm cultivation in Malaysia is done sustainably and in accordance with the law.

Unfortunately, her complaints echo the same tired line propagated by Transport and Environment (T&E) and others, which recently released a “new” report attacking Palm Oil. These arguments are discredited; the United Nations, among many others, clearly recognizes Malaysia’s internationally renowned forest protection commitments. Key policy experts also recognize that pinning the blame for the complex social and economic drivers behind deforestation is unproductive.

In response, Dr. Yusof Basiron, the CEO of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council wrote:

“The core of T&E’s complaint is that the use of palm oil for biodiesel is rising. This is true ­ though the real increase is nowhere near the amount that T&E claims.

“Statistics show that more than 50% of the biofuel used in Europe from vegetable oil comes from rapeseed, and only 15% from palm oil. Yet European oilseeds are spared criticism, while NGOs make continuous unfounded allegations against palm oil.”

Here are a few more inconvenient facts for T&E and MEP Giménez Barbat:

  • All Palm Oil imported into the EU as biodiesel must by law, under RED Directive, meet the environmental criteria laid down by the EU. That is the case for Malaysian Palm Oil;
  • Malaysia is the world leader in Palm Oil sustainability – and the Malaysian Government protects over 67% of land in Malaysia as forest area. A commitment unmatched by any EU Member State;
  • Malaysian Palm Oil has an excellent track record of environmental protection, recognised around the world;
  • Malaysian Government policy ensures land is available for agriculture development (including Palm Oil) and forest protection & conservation;
  • Palm Oil is the world’s most efficient oilseed crop; it produces vastly more oil, using less land, fewer pesticides and less fertiliser than other vegetable oils such as rapeseed or soybean oils.
  • Palm oil supports the livelihoods of more than 300,000 smallholders and their families in Malaysia, and around 3 million smallholders in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Categories
The Oil Palm

Le Conseil Malaisien de l’Huile de Palme : Fin de la Taxe sur l’Huile de Palme

Kuala Lumpur (21 Juillet 2016) – La taxe française sur l’huile de palme a été définitivement rejetée, suite au vote final hier à l’Assemblée Nationale.

Le Gouvernement français, l’Assemblée Nationale, et le Sénat ont tous confirmé le rejet de la taxe sur l’huile de palme. Cette décision est une déclaration forte en vue de renforcer les relations entre la France et la Malaisie.

Le Gouvernement français a déclaré qu’il examinera la taxation des huiles végétales avant la fin de l’année. Dans ce processus, le Gouvernement français ne doit pas oublier la décision prise hier, et doit respecter l’engagement de la France de ne pas taxer l’huile de palme.

Le Président de MPOC, le Dr Yusof Basiron, a déclaré:

« Le vote lors de la plénière à l’Assemblée Nationale confirme le retrait de la taxe sur l’huile de palme. 300 000 petits producteurs en Malaisie remercient le Gouvernement français et les Députés d’avoir rejeter cette taxe injuste.

« Cela a été un processus long et difficile, mais la bonne décision a été prise. Le vote d’hier est une importante reconnaissance de la France que l’huile de palme ne doit pas être taxée. Ce principe doit être respecté dans toutes les futures discussions. »

Autres déclarations

Food Navigator a écris un article sur une analyse économique commandée par le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme, qui a démontré que la taxe sur l’huile de palme n’avait pas de fondement économique. L’auteur du rapport, le Professeur Pierre Garello de l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, a décrit les revendications en faveur de la taxe comme « factuellement et matériellement fausses ».

Lire l’article complet ici. Lire le rapport complet ici.

Des experts français, y compris Cécile Philippe de l’Institut Economique Molinari, ont souligné que la taxation de l’huile de palme ne pouvait être justifié pour des raisons environnementales. Cécile Philippe a écrit dans Le Tribune, « L’huile de palme n’est pas ce monstre environnemental qu’on veut nous dépeindre…il est impossible de montrer que cette nouvelle hausse de taxe préserverait l’environnement ».

Lire l’article ici.

Le Professeur Dr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Directeur du Centre Européen d’Economie Politique Internationale, a confirmé que la taxe est illégale en vertu des règles commerciales de l’OMC. Mr. Lee-Makiyama écrit dans Borderlex, «  les règles de l’OMC ont aidé la France à abroger avec succès des taxes discriminatoires sur les vins français adoptés au nom de la « santé publique ». De la même manière qu’un groupe spécial de l’OMC a statué en faveur des vins français, il en serait de même pour une taxe Nutella discriminatoire ».

Lire l’article ici:

Quelques informations clés sur l’huile de palme malaisienne

La Malaisie est le 2ème plus grand producteur mondial d’huile de palme, et l’un des plus grands exportateurs. Le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme (MPOC) représente les intérêts des producteurs et petits cultivateurs d’huile de palme en Malaisie. 40% de toutes les plantations d’huile de palme en Malaisie appartiennent ou sont cultivées par des petits agriculteurs, qui ont tiré de grands bénéfices de la culture d’huile de palme. L’huile de palme a permis la réduction de la pauvreté de 50% en 1960 à moins de 5% aujourd’hui. 570 000 emplois directs dépendent de l’industrie de l’huile de palme et 290 000 emplois indirects en découlent.

L’impact économique de l’huile de palme

Selon les analyses économiques d’Europe Economics, l’huile de palme contribue nettement à l’économie française. 4600 emplois dépendent des importations d’huile de palme en France ; 167M d’euros sont payés chaque année en impôts ; et plus de 323M d’euros du PIB français reviennent aux importations d’huile de palme.

Une volonté politique ferme de préserver l’environnement

Les allégations selon lesquelles que la Malaisie participe à la déforestation et la destruction massive de la biodiversité sont mensongères. Le gouvernement malaisien s’est engagé à protéger au moins 50% de sa forêt – un engagement environnemental concret et visionnaire qu’aucun autre pays n’a égalé jusqu’ici, y compris la France

Cet engagement a été reconnu par les Nations Unies et la Banque Mondiale, parmi d’autres institutions. La Malaisie est un précurseur mondial en matière de protection de la forêt.

La Malaisie est en outre engagée pour un équilibre politique entre le développement de l’agriculture (y compris celui de l’huile de palme) et la protection de la forêt. L’huile de palme couvre à peine 0,3% des terres agricoles dans le monde, et possède le meilleur rendement de toutes les plantes oléagineuses.

Santé et Nutrition

L’huile de palme est une huile équilibrée, comprenant 50% d’acides gras saturés et 50% d’acides gras insaturés. Cet équilibre permet d’excellentes qualités en termes de cuisson et de production alimentaire. L’huile de palme est exempte d’OGM et a aussi été utilisé en Europe comme substitution aux acides gras trans nocifs pour la santé.

Plusieurs scientifiques et experts en France et à travers l’Europe ont confirmé que l’huile de palme ne représente pas de dangers pour la santé, et les quantités consommées en Europe sont tout à fait normales.

Categories
The Oil Palm

Le Conseil Malaisien de l’Huile de Palme : Les Sénateurs Confirme le Rejet de la Taxe sur l’Huile de Palme

Kuala Lumpur (13 Juillet 2016) – Le Conseil Malaisien de l’Huile de Palme (MPOC) félicite les Sénateurs français qui ont confirmé la suppression de la taxe discriminatoire sur l’huile de palme lors de la session plénière au Sénat en début de semaine.

Le Gouvernement français, l’Assemblée Nationale et le Sénat ont maintenant tous confirmé le rejet de la taxe sur l’huile de palme. Cette décision doit être maintenue, maintenant et également à l’avenir.

Le Gouvernement français a déclaré qu’il examinera l’imposition des huiles végétales, fin 2016. Dans ce processus, le Gouvernement français devra respecter la décision prise Lundi. L’huile de palme ne doit pas être désavantagée en termes absolus ou relatifs.

Le Président de MPOC, le Dr Yusof Basiron, a déclaré:

« Le vote en plénière confirme le retrait du Gouvernement français concernant la taxe sur l’huile de palme. 300.000 petits producteurs en Malaisie, et beaucoup d’autres, remercient les sénateurs d’avoir rejeter cette taxe erronée et nuisible.

« Le vote d’aujourd’hui est une reconnaissance importante de la France que l’huile de palme ne doit pas être taxé. Ce principe doit être respecté dans toutes les discussions à l’avenir. Les voix des petits producteurs Malaisiens ont besoin d’être entendus et leurs intérêts doivent être défendus. »

Autres déclarations

Food Navigator a écris un article sur une analyse économique commandée par le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme, qui a démontré que la taxe sur l’huile de palme n’avait pas de fondement économique. L’auteur du rapport, le Professeur Pierre Garello de l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, a décrit les revendications en faveur de la taxe comme « factuellement et matériellement fausses ».

Lire l’article complet ici. Lire le rapport complet ici.

Des experts français, y compris Cécile Philippe de l’Institut Economique Molinari, ont souligné que la taxation de l’huile de palme ne pouvait être justifié pour des raisons environnementales. Cécile Philippe a écrit dans Le Tribune, « L’huile de palme n’est pas ce monstre environnemental qu’on veut nous dépeindre…il est impossible de montrer que cette nouvelle hausse de taxe préserverait l’environnement ».

Lire l’article ici.

Le Professeur Dr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Directeur du Centre Européen d’Economie Politique Internationale, a confirmé que la taxe est illégale en vertu des règles commerciales de l’OMC. Mr. Lee-Makiyama écrit dans Borderlex, «  les règles de l’OMC ont aidé la France à abroger avec succès des taxes discriminatoires sur les vins français adoptés au nom de la « santé publique ». De la même manière qu’un groupe spécial de l’OMC a statué en faveur des vins français, il en serait de même pour une taxe Nutella discriminatoire ».

Lire l’article ici:

Quelques informations clés sur l’huile de palme malaisienne

La Malaisie est le 2ème plus grand producteur mondial d’huile de palme, et l’un des plus grands exportateurs. Le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme (MPOC) représente les intérêts des producteurs et petits cultivateurs d’huile de palme en Malaisie. 40% de toutes les plantations d’huile de palme en Malaisie appartiennent ou sont cultivées par des petits agriculteurs, qui ont tiré de grands bénéfices de la culture d’huile de palme. L’huile de palme a permis la réduction de la pauvreté de 50% en 1960 à moins de 5% aujourd’hui. 570 000 emplois directs dépendent de l’industrie de l’huile de palme et 290 000 emplois indirects en découlent.

L’impact économique de l’huile de palme

Selon les analyses économiques d’Europe Economics, l’huile de palme contribue nettement à l’économie française. 4600 emplois dépendent des importations d’huile de palme en France ; 167M d’euros sont payés chaque année en impôts ; et plus de 323M d’euros du PIB français reviennent aux importations d’huile de palme.

Une volonté politique ferme de préserver l’environnement

Les allégations selon lesquelles que la Malaisie participe à la déforestation et la destruction massive de la biodiversité sont mensongères. Le gouvernement malaisien s’est engagé à protéger au moins 50% de sa forêt – un engagement environnemental concret et visionnaire qu’aucun autre pays n’a égalé jusqu’ici, y compris la France

Cet engagement a été reconnu par les Nations Unies et la Banque Mondiale, parmi d’autres institutions. La Malaisie est un précurseur mondial en matière de protection de la forêt.

La Malaisie est en outre engagée pour un équilibre politique entre le développement de l’agriculture (y compris celui de l’huile de palme) et la protection de la forêt. L’huile de palme couvre à peine 0,3% des terres agricoles dans le monde, et possède le meilleur rendement de toutes les plantes oléagineuses.

Santé et Nutrition

L’huile de palme est une huile équilibrée, comprenant 50% d’acides gras saturés et 50% d’acides gras insaturés. Cet équilibre permet d’excellentes qualités en termes de cuisson et de production alimentaire. L’huile de palme est exempte d’OGM et a aussi été utilisé en Europe comme substitution aux acides gras trans nocifs pour la santé.

Plusieurs scientifiques et experts en France et à travers l’Europe ont confirmé que l’huile de palme ne représente pas de dangers pour la santé, et les quantités consommées en Europe sont tout à fait normales.

 

Categories
The Oil Palm

Le Conseil Malaisien de l’Huile de Palme : La Commission du Sénat Confirme le Retrait de la Taxe sur l’Huile de Palme

Kuala Lumpur (6 Juillet 2016) – Le Conseil Malaisien de l’Huile de Palme (MPOC) félicite les Sénateurs français qui ont confirmé la suppression de la taxe discriminatoire sur l’huile de palme au cours d’une réunion de la Commission Développement Durable, aujourd’hui, suite au rejet de la taxe par l’Assemblée Nationale fin Juin.

Le Sénat va maintenant avoir la possibilité de mettre fin à la campagne contre l’huile de palme en confirmant la suppression de la taxe au cours de la session plénière qui débutera le lundi 11 Juillet.

Cependant, une nouvelle menace française contre l’huile de palme se profile. La taxation des huiles végétales sera examinée avant la fin de l’année dans une loi de finances, suite à une annonce du gouvernement français. Cette nouvelle révision de la fiscalité devra respecter et accepter la décision de ne pas taxer l’huile de palme: le Président Hollande ne peut pas valider une taxation sur l’huile de palme.

Le Président de MPOC, le Dr Yusof Basiron, a déclaré:

« Le vote de la Commission Développement Durable confirme le retrait, par le gouvernement français, de la taxe sur l’huile de palme.

« En rejetant cette taxe, les Sénateurs ont montré publiquement leur soutien aux petits producteurs de Malaisie, et ont évité la mise en œuvre d’une taxe sur l’huile de palme qui est contraire aux règles commerciales de l’OMC et de l’UE. Le Sénat doit maintenant confirmer son vote lors de la session plénière de la semaine prochaine.

« Les politiciens français doivent maintenant honorer les engagements qu’ils ont pris de ne pas taxer l’huile de palme. Cette taxe doit être supprimée pour de bon: et non réintroduite plus tard cette année en vertu d’une loi de finances. Ce serait une trahison des promesses du gouvernement français envers les petits producteurs d’huile de palme à travers les pays en développement ».

Autres déclarations

Food Navigator a écris un article sur une analyse économique commandée par le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme, qui a démontré que la taxe sur l’huile de palme n’avait pas de fondement économique. L’auteur du rapport, le Professeur Pierre Garello de l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, a décrit les revendications en faveur de la taxe comme « factuellement et matériellement fausses ».

Lire l’article complet ici. Lire le rapport complet ici.

Des experts français, y compris Cécile Philippe de l’Institut Economique Molinari, ont souligné que la taxation de l’huile de palme ne pouvait être justifié pour des raisons environnementales. Cécile Philippe a écrit dans Le Tribune, « L’huile de palme n’est pas ce monstre environnemental qu’on veut nous dépeindre…il est impossible de montrer que cette nouvelle hausse de taxe préserverait l’environnement ».

Lire l’article ici.

Le Professeur Dr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Directeur du Centre Européen d’Economie Politique Internationale, a confirmé que la taxe est illégale en vertu des règles commerciales de l’OMC. Mr. Lee-Makiyama écrit dans Borderlex, «  les règles de l’OMC ont aidé la France à abroger avec succès des taxes discriminatoires sur les vins français adoptés au nom de la « santé publique ». De la même manière qu’un groupe spécial de l’OMC a statué en faveur des vins français, il en serait de même pour une taxe Nutella discriminatoire ».

Lire l’article ici:

Quelques informations clés sur l’huile de palme malaisienne

La Malaisie est le 2ème plus grand producteur mondial d’huile de palme, et l’un des plus grands exportateurs. Le Conseil Malaisien de l’huile de palme (MPOC) représente les intérêts des producteurs et petits cultivateurs d’huile de palme en Malaisie. 40% de toutes les plantations d’huile de palme en Malaisie appartiennent ou sont cultivées par des petits agriculteurs, qui ont tiré de grands bénéfices de la culture d’huile de palme. L’huile de palme a permis la réduction de la pauvreté de 50% en 1960 à moins de 5% aujourd’hui. 570 000 emplois directs dépendent de l’industrie de l’huile de palme et 290 000 emplois indirects en découlent.

L’impact économique de l’huile de palme

Selon les analyses économiques d’Europe Economics, l’huile de palme contribue nettement à l’économie française. 4600 emplois dépendent des importations d’huile de palme en France ; 167M d’euros sont payés chaque année en impôts ; et plus de 323M d’euros du PIB français reviennent aux importations d’huile de palme.

Une volonté politique ferme de préserver l’environnement

Les allégations selon lesquelles que la Malaisie participe à la déforestation et la destruction massive de la biodiversité sont mensongères. Le gouvernement malaisien s’est engagé à protéger au moins 50% de sa forêt – un engagement environnemental concret et visionnaire qu’aucun autre pays n’a égalé jusqu’ici, y compris la France

Cet engagement a été reconnu par les Nations Unies et la Banque Mondiale, parmi d’autres institutions. La Malaisie est un précurseur mondial en matière de protection de la forêt.

La Malaisie est en outre engagée pour un équilibre politique entre le développement de l’agriculture (y compris celui de l’huile de palme) et la protection de la forêt. L’huile de palme couvre à peine 0,3% des terres agricoles dans le monde, et possède le meilleur rendement de toutes les plantes oléagineuses. 

Santé et Nutrition

L’huile de palme est une huile équilibrée, comprenant 50% d’acides gras saturés et 50% d’acides gras insaturés. Cet équilibre permet d’excellentes qualités en termes de cuisson et de production alimentaire. L’huile de palme est exempte d’OGM et a aussi été utilisé en Europe comme substitution aux acides gras trans nocifs pour la santé.

Plusieurs scientifiques et experts en France et à travers l’Europe ont confirmé que l’huile de palme ne représente pas de dangers pour la santé, et les quantités consommées en Europe sont tout à fait normales.