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Food sector to lead strong palm oil demand in 2022, says Zuraida

20/07/2022 (The Star Online), Kuala Lumpur - The demand for palm oil is expected to stay strong in 2022, especially in the food sector, with the reopening of economic sectors and international borders, says Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.


The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said that by having the market on their side, palm oil-producing countries have the control to push for a better narrative on palm oil at the global level.

The minister emphasised that this was the perfect time for palm oil-producing countries, with the cooperation of allies in the palm oil importing nations, to showcase the benefits of palm oil.

"Coordinated efforts in conveying a strong message, particularly to the European Union and the United States, are necessary to recognise member countries’ sustainability agenda and most importantly, to stop all baseless allegations on palm oil products and industry,” she said during the 10th Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) Ministerial Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday (July 19).

Zuraida, who co-chaired the meeting, said the CPOPC would be positioned to play the leading role in addressing this and will undertake proactive measures in promoting the sustainability agenda and highlight all efforts by Malaysia and Indonesia in this regard.

The Ministerial Meeting was conducted in a hybrid format and the representatives of observer countries, including Colombia’s vice-minister of agriculture affairs H.E Juan Gonzalo Botero Botero and the Honduras agriculture and livestock minister H.E Laura Suazo, delivered their respective remarks.

Indonesia’s economic affairs coordinating minister H.E Airlangga Hartarto, who is also the chairman of CPOPC, highlighted the strategic roles that palm oil could play as part of the solution to the current global food and energy crises.

"In this regard, it is crucial for palm oil-producing countries to leverage the momentum of the world’s growing demand for palm oil and the competitiveness of sustainably produced palm oil in the global vegetable oil market,” he said.

To this end, Hartarto highlighted the importance of promoting worldwide acknowledgement of the sustainability of palm oil, including, among others, through continued engagement with consumers and other relevant stakeholders, capacity building and investment for small-scale farmers to ensure sustainable production of palm oil.

Meanwhile, Indonesia and Malaysia reiterated their commitment to ensure CPOPC continues its advocacy for sustainable palm oil and benefit from Indonesia’s G20 presidency to further promote CPOPC’s mission of promoting, developing, and strengthening cooperation among palm oil-producing countries and relevant stakeholders; and to ensure the long-term benefits of palm oil for the well-being of the world community.

The ministers also expect observer countries, namely Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, and Papua New Guinea, to expedite the ratification process to become full members by the next Ministerial Meeting.

In another development, Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to consider increasing the biofuel mandate respectively to B35 for Indonesia and B20 for Malaysia to increase domestic consumption.

The ministers looked forward to Malaysia hosting the 11th Ministerial Meeting by March 2023.

They also welcomed the newly-appointed CPOPC Secretariat officials, namely Dr Rizal Affandi Lukman as executive director, Datuk Nageeb Wahab as deputy executive director, Dr Puah Chiew Wei as director of strategy and policy, and Dr Witjaksana Darmosarkoro as director of sustainability and smallholders.

The tenure of their appointments is for the period June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2025.

The ministers also expressed their appreciation to former executive director Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron and former deputy executive director Dupito D. Simamora for their services which were from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2022.- Bernama