Malaysian Small Farmers Condemn French Palm Oil Tax

President Hollande’s Proposed Tax Spells Disaster for Small Farmers

Kuala Lumpur (17 May 2016) – The French Government continues to support a damaging differential tax on palm oil, despite the tax being rejected by the French Senate’s plenary vote.  The tax is a major risk for 300,000 small farmers in Malaysia for whom oil palm cultivation is an essential lifeline.

DatoHaji Aliasak Haji Ambia, President of the National Association of Smallholders Malaysia (NASH) said:

 “President Hollande’s palm oil tax is nothing less than an arrow aimed at the hearts of small farmers around the world. In Malaysia, today, more than one million people would be affected by this damaging new tax.

 “The French Senate have shown compassion and understanding of the needs of small framers in rural communities, and their families. The French Government, and President Hollande, need to show the same compassion. This tax will hurt millions of small farmers and local communities in Malaysia: on behalf of 300,000 small farmers we urge the French Government to change course and abandon this tax”

Dato’ Aliasak also questioned why palm oil did not get a fair ride in France, despite the many claims that French organisations and Government are supportive of small farmers and economic development.

Dao’ Aliasak continued:

“There are many groups, NGOs, roundtables, who claim to support palm oil, but small farmers do not see this support. Instead, these groups are supporting a differential tax that would hit the life chances of small farmers across Malaysia. A punitive tax is not beneficial, and it is certainly not ‘sustainable’.

“Even when the palm oil tax is discussed and voted, we do not hear anything. Only silence in France.”

The social, economic and environmental benefits of palm oil have been recognized across the developing world, with Malaysia as a world-recognized model for smallholder development. 40 per cent of Malaysia’s oil palm is owned or managed by small farmers. Palm oil is one of the most successful poverty alleviation tools in Malaysia, helping to reduce the country’s poverty rate from 50 per cent after independence, to less than 5 per cent today.

Malaysian Small Farmers Reject Proposed French Tax

French MPs voted last week on an additional tax on palm oil. This tax will harm the lives and livelihoods of over 300,000 small farmers in Malaysia for whom oil palm cultivation is an essential lifeline.

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

“This tax is unfair, unjustified and discriminatory towards millions of small farmers worldwide. In Malaysia, today, more than one million people would be affected by this damaging new tax. Palm oil is a lifeline for smallholders: it enables them to provide prosperity for their families and communities, lifting them out of poverty.

“The French Government claims to be a friend of the developing world: but this new tax will hurt millions of small farmers and local communities who depend on palm oil. The proposed tax in the French National Assembly is a tax on poor people and a tax on small farmers.”

The social, economic and environmental benefits of palm oil have been recognized across the developing world, with Malaysia as a world-recognized model for smallholder development. 40 per cent of Malaysia’s oil palm is owned or managed by small farmers. Palm oil is one of the most successful poverty alleviation tools in Malaysia, helping to reduce the country’s poverty rate from 50 per cent after independence, to less than 5 per cent today.

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Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the country would increase efforts to protect and preserve its forests.

The Star: MPOC launches new Italian web platform

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has launched a new Italian-language educational platform on palm oil, to correct the misinformation about palm oil in Italy, and promote the benefits of oil palm cultivation.
The new platform outlines the environmental and health benefits of palm oil, and corrects misinformation that has been spread in recent discriminatory anti-palm oil campaigns led by Il Fatto Alimentare and the Movimento 5 Stelle.

Read full story here

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This would be achieved by reforestation and enrichment of degraded land to increase carbon sequestration and mitigate climate change effects, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in his speech for joint high-level segment of COP21/CMP11 in Paris, France on Dec 7.

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OIL PALM was the topic of discussion at the Agriculture Technology Seminar Series XII organised by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) Faculty of Science and Centre for Biodiversity Research.
The event was held at the university’s Kampar campus as part of its practice of holding seminars to enrich students, staff and stakeholders. For the first time in its long-running series, the seminar entitled Advancing Oil Palm Production in Malaysia featured oil palm as the topic of discussion.

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Palm Oil Today: The Facts about Malaysia’s Palm Oil Sector and Labour Rights, November 19, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR – U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Malaysia today, for his second visit in recent years.  Once again, we welcome him to this great nation.
The visit of the U.S. President is focused on promoting Malaysia’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).  The TPPA is the crown jewel in the President’s ‘Asian Pivot’.  It is a broad, multilateral trade agreement comprising 12 nations including the United States and Malaysia, and will most likely result in higher levels of exports of products such as vegetable oil-derived products, electronics and garments from these countries to the US. This is a worthy and important trade agreement that will help generate economic benefits for Malaysia.

 

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The Star: Council for the common good, November 08, 2015

Malaysia-Indonesia council offers great potential

MALAYSIA and Indonesia, the two largest palm oil producing countries that account for 85% of world CPO, recently agreed to set up a Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC). How will this be different from a government-to-government arrangement between the two nations and what do you hope the council can achieve?

Chow: The idea behind it is very positive, as Malaysia and Indonesia are the biggest producers of palm oil in the world. The problem is, if it is set up as a cartel, there will be a very negative impact because cartels usually don’t work. The proposed council must, very importantly, have market intelligence. Both countries should pool their resources to look at how the production of palm oil is, and how our competitors are doing. It will allow both countries to strategise on what they are going to do.

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