FELDA Calls EU’s Proposed Ban on Palm Oil “Discriminatory”

FELDA joins Faces of Palm Oil campaign

Small farmers write to EU Energy Ministers criticizing EU ban

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Today, the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) condemned Europe’s campaign to ban Palm Oil, highlighting the discrimination by the EU against over 100,000 small farmers involved in FELDA cooperatives.

Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, Chairman of FELDA, issued the following statement:

“The proposed EU ban on Palm Oil biofuels, under the Renewable Energy Directive, is discriminatory and must be removed. The 112,635 FELDA small farmers in Malaysia, and their families, demand a clear and direct clarification from the EU, that Palm Oil biofuels will not be banned. The Malaysian palm oil industry is an economic lifeline for small farmers; it has lifted their families from poverty to prosperity. I will continue to defend the interest of our small farmer community and ensure justice for them in the global markets.”

On Monday, the 28 EU Energy Ministers of the Council met in Brussels. The meeting came as Dato’ Haji Aliasak Bin Haji Ambia, President of the National Association of SmallHolders (NASH) wrote to Europe’s Energy Ministers, stating “The proposed ban on Palm Oil biofuels is the worst kind of discrimination […] Rich country feedstocks will continue to be supported by MEPs; but poor small farmers in rural Malaysia will be shut out of the EU market.

The letter from Dato’ Aliasak highlights comments from the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak earlier in 2017, when the Prime Minister warned that “any boycott of Palm Oil would lead to retaliation”.

Faces of Palm Oil is a joint project of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH), the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA), the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) that seeks to advocate on behalf of Malaysian small farmers. To learn more, visit FacesOfPalmOil.org.

Europe’s Attack Against Malaysian Small Farmers Unjust and Discriminatory

Small Farmers launch new campaign and digital ad

EU ban on Palm Oil sentences small farmers to a life of poverty

Europe’s actions threaten 3.2 million livelihoods; undermine UN Sustainable Development Goals

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia’s Small Palm Oil Farmers have combined forces to condemn Europe’s effort to ban Palm Oil biofuels. The new campaign releases its first digital ad that will appear across Europe to highlight the EU’s unjust and discriminatory campaign to ban Palm Oil biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). A ban on Palm Oil biofuels threatens to sentence 3.2 million Malaysians to a life of poverty. Malaysia’s Small Farmers demand the European Council reject the proposals of the European Parliament, and reaffirm Europe’s commitment to SE Asia, Malaysia and small Palm Oil farmers.

Dato’ Haji Aliasak Bin Haji Ambia, President of the National Association of SmallHolders (NASH) said:

“Palm Oil has allowed the rural poor in Malaysia to develop our own land, lift ourselves and our families out of poverty, and take control of our own economic destiny. An EU ban on Palm Oil biofuels is an all-out assault against the hundreds of thousands of small farmers across Malaysia. The EU will force farmers into poverty, if it bans Palm Oil. NASH and Malaysia’s small farmers will not stand by while Europeans attempt to sell commercial products to Malaysians with one hand, while cutting off our economic lifelines with the other hand. It is unacceptable behaviour: the Palm Oil ban must be stopped immediately.”

Faces of Palm Oil is a joint project of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH), the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA), the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) that seeks to advocate on behalf of Malaysian small farmers. To learn more, visit FacesOfPalmOil.org.

The EU’s Attack on Small Palm Oil Farmers: The Renewable Energy Directive

Palm Oil is a lifeline for Malaysian small farmers, their families and communities. Villages across Malaysia rely on the income from Palm Oil to secure a better life for themselves and their children. Millions have escaped grinding poverty, in this way.

The EU now wants to stop this success story. The Europeans want to undermine Malaysia’s small farmers. The Europeans want to ban Palm Oil in Europe.

The European Parliament has voted twice on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED): both in the Environment Committee, and in the Industry Committee. Both times, the Parliament has decided to ban Palm Oil biofuels after 2021.

Perhaps this is a game to some in Brussels: a fun project for Parliamentarians to draft some press releases, and pretend that they are somehow ‘helping the environment’ by banning Palm Oil. It comes from so far away, it doesn’t matter. There’s no downside.

However, this is no game. In villages across Malaysia – for 650,000 small farmers and their families – this is a matter of life and death; of income and poverty; of a bright future versus a return to the dark past.

In Malaysia 3.2 million Malaysians, including the children and dependents of small farmers, are reliant on Palm Oil for their livelihoods and the future of their communities. Europe’s actions risk sentencing those 3.2 million people to poverty.

A ban on Palm Oil is aimed at the only biofuel that is produced by Asian farmers, whereas rich European oilseeds are not banned. This is unjust, and will not be tolerated.

Malaysia currently protects over 55 per cent of forest; the Eurozone average is 38 per cent. Why are MEPs banning Malaysian crops, not European crops?

Palm Oil uses less land than any European biofuel feedstock: meaning more biofuel is produced, with less need for land-clearing or other environmental damage. Why are MEPs banning more-efficient Malaysian crops, but not banning less-efficient European crops?

Palm Oil also requires less tilling (which damages soil); uses fewer pesticides; and needs less fertilizer – compared to all European oilseed crops. Why are MEPs banning more-natural Malaysian crops, but not banning more-intensive European crops?

The Renewable Energy Directive attempt to ban Palm Oil is a direct attack against 650,000 Malaysian small farmers. Such a ban cannot be allowed to go ahead. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has stated that “Whoever boycotts oil palm products, they will face retaliation from us Malaysia and Indonesia.” Faces of Palm Oil stands with the Prime Minister, in defending Palm Oil small farmers against this European aggression.