Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s two top palm oil producers accounting for some 85 percent of global supply, should sit together and agree on a single sustainable palm oil standard, so that their efforts to defend the commodity become stronger, an Indonesian minister said here Friday.
Indonesian Coordinating Minister Airlangga Hartarto, speaking on the margin of a forum on two food contaminants in oils and fats — 3-MCPD and GE —organized here by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) said that the two countries currently had their own national standards on sustainable palm oil.
Malaysia had the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and Indonesia had its Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil. Other producers and buyers recognized another standard, that of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which is now the most globally recognized standard in sustainable palm oil.
“The CPOPC must settle the matter of standard first,” he said citing MSPO, ISPO and RSPO which is recognized by among others, the European Union, with which the world’s top palm oil producers had issues regarding its regulation that will phase out the use of palm oil in its renewable energy program by 2030.
“We will not be able to face Europe with multiple standards. Even Indonesia and Malaysia have not yet sat together to have an agreement. So let us settle this first,” Airlangga said.
The minister said that besides of the biofuel question, Indonesia and Malaysia also had an issue with the European Union plan to set a different food health safety standard for palm oil compared to other oils and fats.
The European Union is trying to set two kind of food safety standards regarding the content of two food contaminants — 3-MCPD and GE— in oil and fats.
Airlangga said that setting a separate standard for palm oil may give rise to the perception that palm oil was bad compared to other vegetable oils and fats.