Palm Oil Producing Countries will continue to fight to continue to sustain their share of the market in the European Union, using science and technology, Yusof Basiron, Executive Director of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) said here on Friday (7/2).
In a speech to close a one-day forum organized by the CPOPC on mitigation of 3-Mcpd esters and Glycidyl esters in oil and fats, Basiron said that the reductions of those two contaminants is now of a high priority for the oil and fats industry, including in the producing countries, and that as responsible producing countries CPOPC member countries, all productions, exports and consumptions of palm oil and palm oil products should meet the accepted international standards and adhere to fair practices.
However, he pointed out that “The 3-MCPD issue is borne out of the observation that its level is very high in palm oil and… so you can imagine the kind of political development in the EU now when they see a weakness in our industry, this is sure to be exploited. In fact, we are being bullied into submission either surrender or fight.”
“I think you all chose to fight, by conforming, by having the ability to bring down the level of 3-MCPD that is stipulated to be the right safe limit. That seems to be where we want to go, fight with science and technology to make sure that we continue to sustain our share of the market in the EU.”
Earlier in the day, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, speaking to journalists after opening the forum, said Indonesia opposed a European Union plan to set a separate food health standard for palm oil compared to other vegetable oils, saying it was another form of trade barriers against palm oil.
“Europe is raising its trade barriers by trying to formulate higher standards. This, of course, we cannot allow to continue,” Airlangga said, adding that Indonesia “without question” opposed the EU proposal to set a lower limit of 1,250 microgram for soft oils and vegetable oils produced in the European union and wanted the limit to be the same as the 2,500 micrograms imposed on palm oil.
“With this non-tariff barrier, discriminatory consumers will be misled to perceive palm oil as bad compared to other vegetable oils.
So clearly this is the way for them to differentiate between palm oil and other oils,” he said.
Indonesia and the European Union were already at odds over the latter’s decision to gradually phase out biofuels made with palm oil by 2030, over concern of deforestation. Jakarta has taken the matter to the World Trade Organization, accusing the European Union of discriminating against palm oil, a major export commodity for Indonesia and also a major contributor to the economy,
The one-day forum heard experts and executive share their thoughts and knowledge on the mitigation of 3-MCPD esters and Glycidyl esters in oils and fats.
Dupito Simamora Deputy Executive Director of CPOPC told the Palm Scribe that the important message that the forum wanted to convey was palm oil producing countries had no problem complying with the 2,500-microgram standard but “we want a single food safety standard for all oil and fats.”
He said that in Indonesia itself, many of the larger producers had already met that standard.
More news regarding the Forum on 3-MCPD & GE.
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