Malaysia, Indonesia to use emotion to promote palm oil to EU

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PUTRAJAYA (Aug 6): Malaysia and Indonesia will use the emotional element such as the health benefits of palm oil in their campaign to gain the confidence of the European markets, says Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.

He said Malaysia as a palm oil producer holds to the principle of cooperation with other palm oil producing countries to promote awareness about sustainably produced palm oil among consumers.

"Focusing on competition among palm oil producing countries is not the best move in opposing the discrimination by the European Union (EU) against palm oil,” he told reporters after opening a workshop on Good Agricultural Practices here today.

The workshop, organised by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) was attended by experts from Malaysia and Indonesia including Musdhalifah Mahmud, Deputy of Food and Agriculture at the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Also in attendance was Belgium’s Ambassador to Malaysia Daniel Dargent, who earlier proposed the formation of a special mission to the EU to help address the various challenges faced by Malaysia’s palm oil industry.

"Efforts to regain the world’s confidence in palm oil should be done together through methods that are outside the box, and not just related to palm oil,” said Shamsul.

Meanwhile, Musdhalifah said Indonesia and Malaysia should show close togetherness in every move in facing the opposition from European countries, which are increasingly prone to voicing negative views about the palm oil industry in this region.

"We are prepared to share our experiences and expertise so that competition is no longer an issue between the two countries,” Musdhalifah said.