The government is committed to ensuring that smallholders are not left out of the palm oil supply chain following the introduction of new palm oil regulations by foreign countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said Malaysia is of the opinion that whatever regulations the European Union (EU) wants to implement should involve negotiations with the government.
The message was delivered by the government during the joint mission of Malaysia and Indonesia to the EU through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) in Brussels, Belgium late last month.
“This is our struggle. Our purpose in going to the EU that day was to state that whatever they implement must involve us in all negotiations so that smallholders in particular will not be neglected or left out of the palm oil supply chain,” he said while officiating at the closing of the FGV Consultation Program with Smallholders and Suppliers in the Miri Area here today.
Fadillah, who is also the Minister of Plantation and Commodities, said Malaysia and Indonesia had conveyed their position and concerns regarding the implementation of the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) to the EU.
He described the introduction of various regulations on palm oil as a way of competing in the form of discrimination and trade barriers because palm oil is more productive when compared to oil produced from other sources such as soybeans, sunflowers or corn.
“Alhamdulillah, they have already heard our views and they will come to Malaysia to go into detail all the discussions and hopefully our Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme will be adopted so that smallholders will remain in the global palm oil supply chain,” he said.
He emphasized the importance of smallholders maintaining environmental sustainability not only to meet the needs of the world market.
The practice of complying with MSPO or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards is also to ensure that the environment is preserved for future generations to inherit.
He said the government understands the challenges faced by small oil palm planters, especially in relation to prices determined by global demand.
He said every smallholder should be prepared for global economic uncertainty with the global economy expected to grow at about three per cent until 2028.
He said the Malaysian economy is forecast to grow at four to five per cent with steady exports.
Hence, according to him, although generally the demand for palm oil will remain stable but the price may vary.
He advised palm oil smallholders not to rely solely on the commodity but carry out integrated farming to generate consistent income.