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Indonesian, Indian palm oil bodies team up to promote sustainable trade
Friday, 20 July, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), recognising for the first time Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework (IPOS) as legitimate sustainability frameworks for palm oil production and trade between both countries, was inked by the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India, the Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI) and global sustainability support organisation Solidaridad Network Asia Limited (SNAL) during a high-level meeting with the coordinating ministry for economic affairs, in Jakarta, Indonesia, recently.

It is expected that such cooperation would lead to joint promotion of IPOS and ISPO aligned sustainable palm oil in Indian, Indonesian and other markets through awareness creation amongst all stakeholders including consumers.

The MoU signing was witnessed by Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for economic affairs, who hosted a high-ranking palm oil delegation from India on a visit to Indonesia.

It comprised Shatadru Chattopadhayay, managing director, SNAL; Atul Chaturvedi, president, SEA, and director, Adani Group; B V Mehta, executive director, SEA, and senior representatives of Indian palm oil companies like Godrej and Vijay Solvex.

The ceremony was graced by the representatives of the Indian Embassy, the ministries of agriculture, trade and foreign affairs and other delegates in the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Jakarta.

The event was followed by an open discussion on issues related to India-Indonesia palm oil trade matters, exploring synergies between the IPOS Framework and ISPO and develop a roadmap towards supporting each other.

Nasution welcomed the cooperation and hoped that through the cooperation between SEA, DMSI and SNAL, will be able to strengthen our relationship, and thereby, taking forward the discussion on continued growth of palm oil and its derivatives as was discussed between Indonesian president Joko Widodo and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to lndonesia. He also hoped that this collaboration will be a long lasting one and a win-win for both Indonesia and India in line with the commitment by the leaders of the two nations.

Chaturvedi, said, “The MoU would lead the way for long-term sustainability of palm oil sector in the region by reducing barriers and facilitating enhanced production and trade of sustainable palm oil.”

“I am confident that synergies between IPOS and ISPO would jointly safeguard the competitiveness of the palm oil industry, readiness for facing future consumer demands in sustainable manner and fulfill the national commitments towards sustainable production and trade of palm oil,” he added.

Chattopadhayay stated, “Solidaridad is happy that with this MoU a process of recognising respective national sustainability initiatives on palm oil in Asia has been initiated for the first time.”

“Such cooperation would allow expansion of palm oil production and trade benefiting producers, extractors and consumers in Asia without compromising on the social and environmental aspects. Solidaridad looks forward to supporting the operationalisation of the agreement as sustainability partner,” he added.

lskandar Andi Nuhung said, “This cooperation is expected to improve the performance of national palm oil industries, especially when faced with many challenges in international markets, particularly from Europe and America.”

“This partnership will be an entry point to encourage more palm oil exports to India. Due to the nature of the MoU, I hope there will be a concrete follow-up of this MoU that can benefit both parties, including to promote Indonesian sustainable palm oil in India,” he added.

As it is known that Indonesia is currently the world’s largest palm oil producer with an area of about 14.3 million hectare and production of about 40 million tonne.

Palm oil is a source of vegetable oil and has contributed to meet the needs of public consumption in the form of cooking oil and other downstream products or in the form of bioenergy (biofuel).

The Indian delegation also visited Sintang District, West Kalimantan, and met provincial government officials, before visiting Solidaridad and Keling Kumang Group- (KKG) implemented projects with palm oil smallholders.

Ten of the outperforming farmers from the project were recognised by the Indian palm oil industry delegation along with cash awards.

Further strengthening of cooperation between West Kalimantan palm oil producers and Indian palm oil buyers was explored during the week.
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