Tuesday 30 May 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) will continue to engage with the European Union (EU) to demand changes to the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

MPOC chief executive officer Belvinder Kaur Sron said the MPOC fully supports the efforts of Malaysia’s smallholders to defend their families and their communities.

“Malaysian palm oil is sustainable, and should never be considered high-risk.

“The EU must provide an exemption for smallholders under the EUDR, and offer a guarantee that Malaysia will not be designated as a high-risk jurisdiction for deforestation,” she said in a statement on Wednesday (March 22).

On Tuesday, a delegation of leaders of Malaysia’s major smallholders organisations presented a petition on the EUDR to the EU Commission's headquarters in Brussels.

The move followed a protest held on March 15 by several hundred oil palm and rubber small farmers from the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), the National Association of Smallholders, the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority, the Sarawak Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association, Felcra Bhd, and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority.

These groups represented 2.5 million Malaysian smallholders and their families.

Among other things, the petition sought the EU’s endorsement of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO), and the removal of Malaysia from the list of countries at risk if the EUDR is implemented.

The MPOC said the protest highlighted concerns about the detrimental impact of the regulation on smallholders’ livelihoods and market access, noting that a large number of smallholders in Malaysia had relied on successful palm oil exports to lift them out of poverty, and support the sustainability of rural communities.

“The EUDR places burdens on them, threatening their livelihoods and future prosperity, as its unilateral and unrealistic demands on traceability and geolocation will prevent small farmers from accessing the European market.

“This would jeopardise the communities’ standard of living, reduce incomes, and undermine the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” the MPOC said.

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