5 April 2022
- SOM leaders of member countries of Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) Datuk Ravi Muthayah dan Dr Musdhalifah Machmud co-chaired the 23rd Senior Officials Meeting on Tuesday, 5 April 2022 in Langkawi, Malaysia. The meeting was also attended by high-level representatives and SOM leaders from observer countries Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, and Papua New Guinea as well as the Executive Director and the Secretariat of CPOPC.
2. The meeting was held as follow up to the Ministerial Meeting of CPOPC on 4 December 2022, which adopted some milestone documents and priorities for the palm oil producing countries this year and beyond. In the light of the next Ministerial Meeting before September this year, the SOM meeting deliberated on progress made during the first quarter of 2022, key programs for this year such as on advocacy and positive campaigns, research projects, sustainability issues, and governance matters. SOM Leaders also discussed the latest developments in the international market, emerging trade policies in some consuming countries, and role of palm oil in the current global dynamics of vegetable oils.
3. The 23rd SOM among others deliberated on the recent political crisis that had affected the food and energy outlooks related to palm oil and other vegetable oils. Some highlights that are the most pertinent to CPOPC as following:
• Taking into account the current shortage of sunflower oil and as some food companies and countries to move definitively to oil alternatives, it is important to note that palm oil producing countries remain credible and offer a resilient supply chain to feed the world while ensuring a healthy and sustainable nutrient. CPOPC would like to assure consuming countries in Europe and the world at large that palm oil producing countries in the three regions in Africa, Asia Pacific and Central and Latin America would continue to provide the supply of palm oil in a timely manner with a secure and sustainable way. This is the right momentum in which, it is important to promote partnership and collaboration among relevant stakeholders and abandon indiscriminatory treatment of sustainable palm oil for good. Part and parcel to CPOPC’s approach would be addressing misleading “palm oil free” labels. CPOPC cannot disregard emerging policies such as due diligence of the global supply chains and the deforestation-free commodities that could be unfair and biased. In this context, CPOPC will continue supporting the member countries in ensuring that consuming countries_acknowledge the efficiency and significant contribution of national sustainability schemes such as Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO).
• Post-adoption of and the twofold webinar engaging national and international parties on the Global Framework Principles for Sustainable Palm Oil (GFP-SPO), CPOPC is in the discussion with palm oil producing countries and plans to introduce GFP-SPO to the multilateral fora, including the United Nations. This will also be in line with CPOPC intention to promote a global recognition of GFP-SPO as a basis for developing sustainability standard for all vegetable oils.
• As discussed during the 3rd Palm Biodiesel Conference on 24 March 2022 in Yogyakarta, SOM leaders have affirmed the commitment of CPOPC member and observer countries to accelerate clean energy transitions through exploration of coordinated common approaches in strengthening national biodiesel implementation programs. As recommended by Ministers, CPOPC would play a greater role and leadership on closer and concrete coordinated actions on palm-based biodiesel including through research and development, investments, and exchanges of technology.
• Taking into account the growing strategic importance for strengthened alliance of palm oil producing countries given the continuing challenges the global vegetable oil sector is facing, it is timely for CPOPC to assume greater role and leadership for a solid unified voice and actions of all palm oil producing countries in sustainability of the whole supply chain of the industry, promote meaningful intangible support for smallholders, including through the establishment of the Smallholder Forum, to promote more consistent impactful advocacy and positive campaigns, and closer collaboration with relevant regional and global organizations. For that purpose, it is indispensable for CPOPC to accelerate the accession of observer countries and other major palm oil producing countries to join CPOPC as full members.
4. The meeting appreciated the host country, Malaysia, for the generosity accorded to the participants and to the CPOPC Secretariat for facilitating the 23rd SOM in Langkawi.