• February 17, 2023
  • 3 min read

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation and Commodities of
    Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof, and the Coordinating
    Minister for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Airlangga
    Hartarto representing the CPOPC Ministerial Council held a Bilateral Ministerial
    Meeting followed by the Palm Oil Industry Dialogue on 9 February 2023 at the
    Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • In the meeting, the Ministers discussed some of the pressing issues with regard
    to the palm oil industry, and proposed a joint approach and possible
    coordinated actions. Both Ministers agreed to continue protecting the palm oil
    sector by strengthening efforts and cooperation in addressing discrimination
    against palm oil. In particular, Ministers discussed the European Union’s
    Deforestation-free Commodities regulation. Both Ministers expressed grave
    concern on the adoption of the regulation, which will have significant negative
    impacts on global palm oil exports as well as other developing countries. The
    Ministers agreed that the Regulation is a protectionist instrument that will raise
    costs for exporters of palm oil and reduce their competitiveness against other
    vegetable oils in the European Union. The Ministers noted their disappointment
    to the European Union that has not conducted consultations with its trading
    partners in a meaningful way.
  • In relation to that, strategies for a wider recognition of ISPO and MSPO in the
    global market were discussed and to be actively pursued, including the
    benchmarks and pathways for the recognition. The meeting also discussed
    strategies on the expansion of CPOPC membership and saw the possibility of
    Honduras becoming the third member of CPOPC very soon. In further
    enhancing the visibility of CPOPC, the meeting agreed to intensify engagement
    with the United Nations bodies. The Ministers also concurred for more

coordinated efforts between the two governments to resolve the issue of labour
shortages and legalization of foreign workers in the industry.

  1. In response to the recent political agreement on the proposal of the European
    Union Deforestation-free Commodities, the meeting agreed to conduct a joint
    mission to the EU in communicating the unintended consequences of the
    regulation to the palm oil sector, especially on possible exclusion of
    smallholders from the supply chain, and in seeking possible collaborative
    approach among parties concerned. CPOPC intends to continue engaging with
    the EU in seeking favourable outcomes for both producing and consuming
    countries. The meeting agreed on the feasibility of using ASEAN as a strategic
    platform to voice the concerns of palm oil sector.
  2. The Ministers also agreed that following the joint mission to the EU, a visit will
    also be made to India to harness some of the potential opportunities in the
    country. The visit among others, aims at promoting further the use of palm oil
    following the recognition of ISPO and MSPO by India through a joint initiative
    with the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework (IPOS), and the introduction
    and acceptance of CPOPC’s Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable
    Palm Oil (GFP-SPO).
  3. Following the bilateral meeting, both ministers participated in the working lunch
    and industry dialogue that was attended by the representatives of key
    stakeholders of the oil palm sector of both Indonesia and Malaysia. During the
    dialogue session, H.E. Airlangga Hartarto officially handed over the
    chairmanship of CPOPC to YAB Dato’ Sri Fadillah bin Hj Yusof as Malaysia will
    be the Chairman for 2023.
  4. The takeaway of the Industrial Dialogue was that everyone including the
    Government, Private Sectors and smallholders need to be united in addressing
    the prevailing common issues plaguing the industry for the good of the palm oil
    producing countries.

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