Palm oil commodity can help emerging countries to achieve their SDG, a palm oil official said here on Wednesday (19/9).
“Palm oil is a vegetable oil that contributes to the attainment of SDGs, in other words, If there is no palm oil, it would be difficult to attain these SDGs,” said Mahendra Siregar, Director of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC).
SDGs are a series of sustainable development goals that are measured, that were adopted by world leader into a resolution of the UN General Assembly in 2015 and are goals that are hoped to be attained by 2030.
Speaking at SMART SEED in Jakarta, Mahendra stressed that the issues concerning palm oil are not only local but global in nature, and the industry has a substantial role in influencing the market.
“If the palm oil commodity is disturbed, conflict can erupt with developing countries, Mahendra said.
He aired hope that the spotlight that the palm oil industry is currently put under, would not tend toward the negative, because palm oil is the most efficient commodity in producing vegetable oil compared to other sources.
“Palm oil is the most sustainable commodity in meeting the world need for vegetable oils. Palm oil is the most efficient answer and does not need much land,” he said.
For Indonesia in particular, palm oil has become a major contributor to the state coffer in the past few years. The value of Indonesian palm oil exports has even exceeded that from the oil and gas sector and way over export revenues from the other five main plantation commodities of the countries – rubber, cacao, coffee, sugar cane, and tea.
Data from the Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) shows that Indonesia exported $22.97 million worth of palm oil in 2017 or up 26 percent from the previous year.
Because of its important contribution to the state coffer, palm oil possesses a strategic value in the government’s efforts to achieve an equitable development and in fighting poverty, two main components of the SDGs.
“There are only two commodities in the private plantation sector which plays significant roles in Indonesia and they are palm oil and sugar. Why? Because of the efficiency factor,” said Lin Che Wei, an expert staff of the Coordinating Ministry of the Economy.
Speaking at the same occasion, Lin Che Wei also explained that palm oil was now facing extraordinary pressure and this has already led to the establishment of the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) or the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Ol (RSPO.)
He also said that the high standard that is being applied on palm oil, are not being applied to other commodities that produce vegetable oils
“Rapeseed, Sunflower has no sustainability standards,” he said, adding that human rights were also one issue that is being used to attack palm oil.
Lin Che Wei said that palm oil was the weapon that Indonesia possessed to answer the challenges of global consumption.