In the London Daily ExpressMusdalifah Machmud, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Food, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, writes that the UK and Indonesia have an opportunity to formally recognise the ISPO standard under Secondary Legislation.

The Indonesian government’s Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard is on track to become the world’s largest-ever sustainability scheme, covering 4 million small farmers as well as the world’s largest palm oil industry.

The UK Government’s Due Diligence legislation is a good example of how a ‘legality standard’ approach can help sustainability both for importers, and for producing countries. This must be maintained in Secondary Legislation; there is no justification for discrimination against Indonesian palm oil.

The Minister writes:

“Crucially, the UK’s due diligence approach is based on a legality standard that respects Indonesian laws: in other words, it is a cooperative effort rather than a unilateral one.

This must remain in place. The Secondary Legislation being considered now by DEFRA should not discriminate against palm oil: this might be popular amongst some NGOs, but it would undermine the open trading relationship that the UK and Indonesia are both seeking to build.

The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard, soon to become the world’s largest-ever sustainability scheme covering hundreds of thousands of our palm oil farmers, can give the U.K. the assurance that laws are enforced and illegal deforestation curtailed. ISPO can – and should – be recognised by the UK as an accepted due diligence standard under the Environment Act.”

Read more about Indonesia’s ISPO scheme here:

Read more about the UK Due Diligence here: