Co Chairs’ Statement the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of Palm Oil Producing Countries

1. The 2nd Ministerial Meeting of Palm Oil Producing Countries (2nd MMPOPC) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18 November 2019.  The Meeting was hosted by Malaysia and attended by representatives of palm oil producing countries from Indonesia, Colombia, Thailand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Honduras, and Brazil. This second meeting was built on the Inaugural Meeting of Palm Oil Producing Countries (IMMPOPC) held in Bali, Indonesia, on 2 November 2017.   

2. The Ministers responsible for palm oil from Malaysia, Her Excellency Madam Teresa Kok, Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysia, and from Indonesia, His Excellency Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, co-chaired the Meeting. Both Ministers represent their respective governments in the Ministerial Council of Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries.

3. In her opening remarks, Madam Teresa Kok emphasized the need for strengthened collaboration among palm oil producers to address emerging issues in the palm oil industry. She expressed her concerns about discriminatory policies and regulations in some countries that unfairly targets the palm oil industry. She urged palm oil producing countries to work hand in hand and stand united to defend the palm oil industry without compromising sustainability goals.  Madam Teresa informed the meeting on the contribution of the palm oil sector for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in palm oil producing countries. She also emphasized on the importance for CPOPC to play an intermediary role for palm oil producing countries to work with other international bodies and associations for the benefit of the palm oil industry. CPOPC should also provide consultation among palm oil producers and highlighted the importance of collaborative strategy in managing supply and demand balance to sustain palm oil price. Apart from that, she stressed on the importance of improving the productivity of small holders. Madam Teresa also welcomed all palm oil producing countries to become members of CPOPC, as it will be an important platform for member countries to move in solidarity and strengthen the palm oil industry.

4. In his remarks, Mr Airlangga Hartarto informed the Meeting about new developments of policies of Indonesia for biodiesel B30 implementation starting early January 2020. Minister Airlangga underscored the need to continuously support smallholders that account 40 percent of global palm oil production. While encouraging palm oil producing countries to work together through CPOPC, he underlined the priority for palm oil producing countries to seriously address the negative and black campaigns against palm oil. Echoing the importance of SDGs, as the criteria for sustainable palm oil, he called for international recognition of the progress made on palm oil sustainability such as through existing certification scheme like Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO)

5. Two prominent speakers, Dr James Fry and Prof Pietro Paganini, as resource persons, shared insights on the current situation analysis of the palm oil industry such as market expansion, new demand, CPO price, and countering the negative campaign. Engagement of experts in this meeting was to establish closer cooperation and collaboration with “friends of palm oil” by inviting them to address the meeting. Such involvement was of importance to build wider alliance with various stakeholders, including influential individuals and like-minded organizations that support palm oil. It was also suggested that CPOPC to play coordinating role in advancing more effective, coherent, and sustained efforts in presenting better image of palm oil.

6. In his capacity as Executive Director of CPOPC, Dr Tan Sri Yusof Basiron, delivered a presentation which highlights the role of CPOPC in global partnership and future sustainable development of palm oil.

7. In their statements, Ministers and other high-level representative from palm oil producing countries conveyed their views on the opportunities and emerging challenges in the palm oil sector, which among others covers areas related to production, market access, trade barriers business and smallholders engagement. Some representatives have also underlined the importance of closer engagement with the Council.  

8. The Meeting recommended some follow-up actions, as follows:

  • encourage palm oil producing countries to increase collaboration in developing strategies to get palm oil price to remunerative level, particularly for smallholders;
  • continue to promote and expand biofuel consumption to absorb more CPO in the global market, including through Indonesia’s trial implementation of B30 program in December 2019, Malaysia’s implementation of B20 diesel program in stages next year and Thailand’s implementation of B10 program in 2020.
  • call for unity and solidarity among palm oil producing countries in fighting the discriminative measures against palm oil through aggressive joint counter-campaign with concrete and implementable actions
  • promote cooperation on sustainable management of palm oil including through development and promotion of relevant certification of sustainability with action plan.
  • continue fighting restrictive measures against palm oil through the WTO
  • encourage other palm oil producing countries to join the membership of CPOPC

9. The Meeting expressed its support for CPOPC to continue holding the MMPOPC as an avenue for discussion among palm oil producing countries and promote cooperation on the area of common interest. The Meeting reiterated the spirit of IMMPOPC in Bali to entrust CPOPC in its capacity as an intergovernmental organization to spearhead the interests of all palm oil producing countries. In that connection, consultative process of MMPOPC was considered necessary to address challenges and interest of all palm oil producing countries.

10. The Meeting expressed its high appreciation to the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia as co-chairs and the Secretariat of CPOPC for assisting the arrangement of the event.