The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) is calling on oil palm smallholders in Central and Latin America to collaborate with their colleagues in other producing countries to fight against the black campaign that has been directed against the commodity.
“We can collaborate to fight the negative campaign against palm oil, support cooperation and share good agricultural practices. We will also support a stable remunerative price that is in the interest of palm oil producing countries,” CPOPC Deputy Executive Director Dupito D Simamora said.
Speaking at a second round of Smallholder Outreach program (SOP) held by the CPOPC Secretariat on September 8, 2020, Simamora said that smallholders were an important part of the CPOPC’s work program.
The teleconference was attended by representatives of smallholder groups from Columbia, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
The SOP provides a platform for oil palm smallholders from a number of palm oil producing countries to share, cooperate and form a global communication network for the palm oil industry, including within the context of efforts to attain the 20130 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)
“The image of palm oil is currently under attack from negative campaigns and therefore they this need to be warded off. Palm oil has a lot of benefits, such as being more productive in production, provides access to education and health and better living,” Arnoldo Megar from Gremial de Palmicultores de Guatemala said in the teleconference according to a CPOPC statement.
Oscar Roberto Calahorrano Valencia from the Federación Nacional de la Cadena Productiva del Aceite de Palma from Mexico and Juan Fernando Lezaca from the National Federation of Oil Palm Growers of Colombia both said that SOP could be the first step in building a global alliance for oil palm smallholders.
“Mexico hopes to build a collaboration with (palm oil) producing countries, they can share experience in this industry,” said Roberto while Lezaca was pushing for the CPOPC to take up the voice of smallholders to the global stage.
CPOPC Executive Director Yusuf Basiron, in his closing statement to the teleconference, stressed that palm oil was a commodity of the future.
“Demands that will continue to increase will be able to be met in a sustainable manner by palm oil because it fits sustainability standards,” Basiron said while also calling on producing countries to work together to counter the negative campaign against palm oil.
A third SOP round that would involve a number of representatives of smallholder groups in Africa, is scheduled for next week. A first round, attended by smallholders from Asia Pacific, such as from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Papua New Guinea was held last month.