European Union Denies Involvement in Palm Oil Black Campaign



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Charles Michel-Geurts, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Indonesia, denied allegations saying the EU government involved in a campaign for palm oil-free that is rife in the continent.

    “The EU, as a constitution, government, and the member states, has no relation to the ban on palm oil products. It is clearly driven by the market,” said Michel-Geurts to media in Hotel Pullman, Central Jakarta, September 5.

    He explained such a campaign is driven by market dynamics. The declining market in palm oil product is caused by the market itself.

    According to the EU delegation, many producers put a palm oil-free label to their products as they are increasingly aware of getting a better life. The habit changes of Europeans who started to consume eco-friendly and healthy products do not only affect palm oil market but also other markets of products containing gluten, chemical substances, and others.

    He added that aside from a campaign for palm oil-free, campaigns for sugar-free, GMO (Genetic Modified Organism) free, and gluten-free are also rampant in the region.

    Therefore, he advised Indonesia take measures to advertise the advantages of oil palm products and their derivatives, instead of worries over a black campaign.

    Reportedly, the import value on palm oil to the European Union dropped 22 percent compared to that of 2017. Despite the lower price than last year’s, the export value on palm oil and bio-diesel only slipped by 2 percent compared to 2017.

    However, in the five first months of 2019, the import volume increased by 0.7 percent. As for the import value in the past five years is averagely 3.5 million ton or 2.2 billion euro per year.