BANGI (Jan 31): Malaysia will continue to collaborate with Indonesia to counter the European Union’s (EU) criticism against palm oil, said Deputy Prime Minister and Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
He said Malaysia and Indonesia will talk about the laws which ban the sale of palm oil and other commodities linked to deforestation unless importers can demonstrate that their production of goods does not involve deforestation.
“The collaboration strategy with Indonesia to counter the anti-palm oil campaign is seen to be able to put pressure on the EU.
"The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries will also formulate a strategy to put pressure on the EU, so that Malaysia and Indonesia are not bullied,” he said.
Speaking at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board's (MPOB) Excellence Awards ceremony 2022 here on Tuesday (Jan 31), Fadillah noted that palm oil producing countries must agree on how to handle global issues, so that objections to palm oil discrimination can be made in a unified, effective and firm manner.
The minister said that while this is not an easy task, the ministry and its agencies will boost efforts to counter the anti-palm oil campaign by reporting unassailable facts about the sustainability and benefits of palm oil.
“We need to show them the fact that palm oil does not harm the environment, causing negative impacts on humans and the wildlife," he said.
He said that the Malaysian palm oil industry is expected to continue its impressive performance in 2023, supported by strong demand and higher crude palm oil (CPO) production.
Palm oil exports are expected to increase by 3.7% to 16.3 million tonnes in 2023, from 15.72 million tonnes last year, driven by continuous demand from importing countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Bangladesh and Egypt.
Meanwhile, Fadillah said the ministry will ensure a smooth process for the entry of foreign workers to help boost CPO production this year.
As for the awards ceremony, the minister said he is proud of the MPOB's achievements, which have received both national and international recognition for its contributions in developing the Malaysian palm oil industry.
Recently, the MPOB’s Advanced Biotechnology and Breeding Centre (ABBC) was selected as the recipient of the Mahathir Science Award 2022, a globally recognised Malaysian award.
The ABBC bagged the award in the tropical natural resources category in recognition of its forward-thinking research programme in developing oil palm germplasm, which has become an important resource in driving the socio-economic value of the palm oil industry nationally and globally.
The ABBC is the third Malaysian recipient of the Mahathir Science Award in its 17-year history.