The Palm Scribe

Palm oil lobby turns to Holy See

The Jakarta Post, 5 May 2018
In a desperate attempt to safeguard the long-term interests of the palm oil industry, the government is seeking support from the Vatican to lobby against the European Union’s plans to ban biodiesel imports. Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan visited the Holy See on April 25 to meet with Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Director Cardinal Peter Turkson. During the meeting, the cardinal expressed his concerns over the fate of oil palm farmers and the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on the industry, Luhut said. Luhut added that the cardinal had proposed the idea to hold a seminar on palm oil at the Vatican’s Pontifical University in May. The event is slated to gather European organizations, multinational companies, oil palm growers from Indonesia and Malaysia and religious groups. The minister recommended inviting Indonesia’s largest religious groups, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, due to concerns over the emergence of radicalism caused by poverty.

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