The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) is facing a difficult task in developing a sustainable palm oil industry and pushing for acceptance of the commodity globally, its outgoing Executive Director Mahendra Siregar, said.
Most young people are unaware of the importance that palm oil plays in their life. For them, the commodity and its producing industry are more often than not, perceived in a negative way, a perspective that has been fed to most people since they were small children.
“Existing policies, whatever their form, must be directed towards strengthening the capacity and productivity of planters, including access to markets and financing, while at the same time support an agriculture that guarantees environmental conservation,” Fitrian said.
“I think that so much of this industry is already in place and there is no turning back, really. The question is how much more, how further will it go,” Fries said.
Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Farmer Union (SPKS), Mansuetus Darto Wojtyla Alsy Hanu, strongly believes that to push Indonesian palm oil smallholders to adopt sustainable agricultural practices, the government needed to provide appropriate incentives.
“There are also many opportunities for industry players and consumers in Indonesia to increase the demand for CSPO and achieve the RSPO vision to make sustainable palm oil the norm,” said Darrel to Palm Scribe.
“Here (in Papua), each region has a different level of awareness. Our Papuan community is unique. We are facing a society that has a big gap in their level of education as some of them live in the remote areas,” explained Fransisca.
“People involved in the palm oil industry rarely want to introspect themselves and no one is firmly watching, despite the very strict rules of this industry,” said the woman who has a doctorate degree from Aston University, Birmingham, England in the field of Chemistry.
“It is about breaking bad habits and establishing new ones. It is not easy.” Changing mindsets, she said, implied a huge cultural change that would need continuous prodding and education.