Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive officer Datuk Mohamad Nageeb highlighted it is timely for the government to halt trade deals with the European Union until the latter’s ban on palm oil is lifted. NSTP photo by NURUL SYAZANA ROSE RAZMAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) urged the government to halt trade deals with the European Union until the latter’s ban on palm oil is lifted.

Chief executive Datuk Nageeb Wahab said EU’s discriminative action against palm oil will harm the livelihoods of more than three million farmers across developing nations.

“The ban would threaten the livelihoods of 650,000 smallholders and over 3.2 million Malaysians who rely on the palm oil industry.

“The smallholders account for almost 40 per cent of the total planted area in the country,” he said in a statement, today.

MPOA concurs with Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong that the EU’s palm oil ban is akin to crop apartheid. “MPOA is protesting against the EU’s discriminatory action in banning palm oil,” he added.

On January 17, 2018 the EU Parliament passed a resolution which requires that only sustainably-produced palm oil can be imported to the EU market after 2020.

It has also voted in favour of an amendment to a draft law on renewable energy that calls for reducing to zero the contribution from biofuels and bioliquids produced from palm oil as of January 2021.

Nageeb said MPOA fully supports Malaysia’s initiative to form an alliance called “Friends of Palm Oil” with eight other palm oil producing countries to champion the industry’s future to the EU.

“The initiative calls for an urgent need to clear many misconceptions by the EU on palm oil where the EU have chosen to ignore many factual information such as Malaysia’s landmass that is 57 per cent covered with forest,” he added.

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