The Ministers responsible for the palm oil industry, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Airlangga Hartarto as the chair of CPOPC and Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia, H. E. Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin co-chaired the 9th Ministerial Meeting of Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) on Saturday, 4 December 2021 in Jakarta.

The Ministerial Meeting was attended virtually by the Vice Minister for Agricultural Affairs of Colombia, H.E. Juan Gonzalo Botero Botero; Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Papua New Guinea, Honorable Mr. John Simon, MP; Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras, H.E. David Ernesto Wainwright; and H.E Mdm. Akua Sekyia Ahenkora, High Commissioner of Ghana to Malaysia itheir capacities as observer countries.

Airlangga Hartarto highlighted the resilience and crucial role of palm oil sector in supporting and accelerating economic recovery amidst the pandemic. In 2021, palm oil export value is expected to reach USD 29 billion, an increase of 155% compared to the previous year. To keep up with the positive momentum of realizing sustainable palm oil, Indonesia in the process of finalizing downstream palm oil supply chain certification.

However, Minister Airlangga also noted the growing trend of discriminative policies against palm oil that will be detrimental to the development of the palm oil sector. As such, Minister Airlangga highlighted that it is crucial for CPOPC to maintain its pivotal role in supporting and safeguarding the collective interest of its members in palm oil sector.

Zuraida expressed her concern regarding the anti-palm oil campaign sentiment which is being highlighted from time to time by various parties. While it is a known fact that the oil palm is a far more efficient crop compared to other oil producing crops, the propaganda against palm oil has taken a more serious turn and it is something CPOPC need to counter in a more effective manner. Debunking the myths surrounding palm oil in general has to be strategized by leveraging the technological advancements of today including in the cyber platform where news travel fast. Therefore, CPOPC needs to place more emphasis on easily digestible, bitesized information in the form of narratives and graphics to change perception.

Zuraida ended her closing remarks by emphasizing the council’s role concerning palm oil industry. She congratulated the council for successfully finalizing the amendment to the Charter of CPOPC. With the signing of the Charter by both founding members, she is hopeful the new Charter will facilitate the admission of new members as well as observer countries into the CPOPC fraternity in the near future.

Zuraida further stresses on CPOPC’s role as a body that encourage engagements on the development of a sustainable palm oil industry globally. CPOPC is also tasked with the critical role in assisting millions of oil palm smallholders and stakeholders globally. These efforts will help ensure that the palm oil industry is fully committed towards sustainability and encapsulates the UN’s SDGs in line with global demands.

Malaysia and Indonesia reiterated their commitment to ensure the high and attractive price in 2022 through various measures and coordinated actions at CPOPC level. Some notable priority efforts in the near future includes expansion of CPOPC membership, acceptance of the Global Framework of Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil CPOPC Global Multistakeholder Forum. CPOPC with the cooperation from Indonesia during the Presidency of Indonesia in the G20, will also leverage to further promote CPOPC and sustainable palm oil.