InfoSAWIT, PEKANBARU - In his visit in Riau Province to directly see smallholders’ palm oil plantations, the Ambassador of European Union, Vincent Piket also visited Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Apkasindo) in the province.
Chairman of Apkasindo, Gulat Manurung said, the meeting discussed many things, namely about plantations which directly impact to villagers (smallholders) and the people of Indonesia in general.
“We also discussed about environment conservation, fire prevention, and commitment of smallholders to increase productivity by intensification through smallholders’ replanting program (SRP),” Manurung said, as in the official statement to InfoSAWIT.
Chairman of Apkasindo of Riau, K.H Suher said, the meeting was running well, full of kindship. Smallholders in Indonesia want to cooperate in trade and economy with European Union in fair, non-discriminatory, and open ways namely in palm oil,
Knowing the issues, Ambassador Vincent thought, palm oil was only a kind of plant but in fact, it is the living source for many people.
“We know the history of deforestation in 1990s in Indonesia. Many connected the deforestation with palm oil. We have to re-develop palm oil images in European Union and world, this is not easy task to do,” he said.
He also mentioned, European Union is not an organization affiliated with non-government organizations. It represents 27 countries in European continent. It prioritizes fairness, objectiveness based on scientific and responsible researches.
“It is not true if there is a statement saying that European bans palm oil. In fact, we are the third biggest palm oil importers in the world. We know palm oil is good to produce chocolate, medicine, cooking oil, and many more,” Vincent said
On Wednesday (17/11/2021) European Union Commission would declare deforestation issue in present day (not in the past). He continued, the regulation would encourage non-discriminatory to vegetable oil in European Union or outside, if it is rapeseed, soybean, palm oil, and others.
“We have to get the same definition about deforestation and we do understand that palm oil is significant for Indonesia,” Vincent said. (T2)