Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) as well as other industry associations, stakeholder companies and civil society bodies, have issued a joint call to action for all European stakeholders to actively support the sustainable palm oil choice initiative.
EPOA chair Frans Claassen said the initiative’s objective was to drive the uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by all stakeholders in Europe’s food manufacturing value chain.
“The goal is for all manufacturers and retailers to choose and use only CSPO in their production and to achieve the target of 100 per cent CSPO in European food manufacturing by 2020,” he said in a statement yesterday in conjunction with the Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue event in the Netherlands recently.
He added that the initiative sought to reverse this and increase market acceptance for CSPO by engaging stakeholders who are already committed to it to speak up for CSPO and inspire others not only to choose and use it, but also to advocate it.
“We have to empower companies, retailers and consumers to choose sustainable palm oil. I believe we will achieve this by telling honest stories about the impact of sustainable production on the ground,” he said.
Claassen also said that making the choice for sustainable palm oil across Europe would help safeguard rainforests and their biodiversity across the world.
“Choosing palm oil that is produced sustainably also protects smallholders, uplifts their earning potential, and helps create fair and socioeconomic conditions for growers and workers active across the global palm oil supply chain,” he said.
Meanwhile, Orangutan Land Trust executive director Michelle Desilets said palm oil did not have to result in deforestation or biodiversity loss, and by demanding responsible palm oil, the industry can help ensure that it does not occur.
“Our supporters have been confused by messages in the public domain, such as from some UK retailers, that a blanket boycott of palm oil is desirable, a position we categorically do not share. I am personally committed to supporting and promoting 100 per cent sustainable palm oil in Europe,” she said.
The Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue event was attended by Sime Darby Plantation, Agropalma, Cargill, Fedepalma, Nutella and Palma Organica, among others.