Malaysia’s Small Farmers Condemn 11th Hour Move by France and Italy to Discriminate against Palm Oil

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Today, the National Association of Small Holders (NASH) condemned the 11th hour tactics of the Governments of France and Italy to impose a freeze on Palm Oil biofuel exports as part of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

This proposal is a betrayal of promises made by the French Government, and others in Europe, to the people of Malaysia.

The proposed freeze replaces the planned Ban on Palm Oil originally passed by the EU Parliament in January 2018.

The new proposal will be discussed on 11th June in Luxembourg, at a meeting of EU Energy Ministers.

As reported by Euractiv, the proposal consists of a “cap on counting towards the targets at a level of 2020 consumption or on a basis of a threshold 130 gCO2eq/MJ”.

Any cap on Palm Oil biofuel exports to Europe is a discriminatory act and a clearly-targeted trade barrier aimed at Malaysia’s 650,000 small farmers of Palm Oil.

The RED must guarantee 100% equal treatment for Palm Oil with other oilseeds. This is the only acceptable outcome for international trade rules and is the only outcome that will avoid unnecessary and negative trade consequences for both Europe and Malaysia.

Dato’ Haji Aliasak Haji Ambia, President, National Association of Smallholders Malaysia stated:

“Any EU ban or cap on Palm Oil biofuels is a discriminatory action against the hundreds of thousands of small farmers across Malaysia. The Governments of France and Italy promised that there would not be discriminatory treatment against Palm Oil. Those promises must be honoured. Attempts to camouflage this discrimination behind technical calculations are deceitful. Europe is now adopting Trump-like trade tactics that violate WTO rules. The EU cannot credibly claim to be a defender of global trade if this discrimination against Palm Oil is adopted.”

 If Member States and the Commission are true to their word about defending international trade, they should reject this compromise proposal – and commit to equal treatment for Palm Oil.

 

Some of the many EU promises made to Malaysia: