JAKARTA – The Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers (Gapki), Joko Supriyono on Wednesday (15/11/2017) expressed appreciation for President’s Jokowi’s support for the country’s palm oil industry a meeting between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) in Manila.
“It is appropriate that the president defends national interests in relation to this top Indonesian export commodity,” Supriyono was quoted as saying in a report published in Gapki’s website.
Addressing the 40th anniversary summit of the ASEAN-EU cooperation in Manila on Tuesday (24/11/2017), Jokowi urged the European Union to stop discriminating against palm oil and remove the block’s policies that were unfavourable to the commodity.
“The resolution of the European Parliament as well as several European countries on palm oil and deforestation, in addition to various campaigns (against palm oil products), has not only brought losses to the economy but also ruined the image of producing countries,” a government press statement said.
Joko Widodo said that at least 17 million Indonesians depended directly or indirectly on the palm oil industry and more than 40 percent of the country’s palm oil plantations belonged to smallholders.
The president also said that indonesia was aware of the importance of sustainable palm oil production and this was reflected in the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil standards that is now mandatory for palm oil producers in Indonesia.
Supriyono said that the statement made by the president on palm oil showed his deep understanding of the industry that contributes more than Rp 200 trillion in foreign exchange to the economy and is important in efforts to eradicate poverty and develop the regions.
The European Parliament in April this year issued a Resolution on palm oil and deforestation that put forward a number of calls for action to the European Commission, the EU executive body, and to member states, including a proposed commitment to “sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2020”.
The European Commission, however, has said that the resolution was not binding and was not part of a legislative process.