In advance of today’s Trilogue negotiations on the Deforestation Regulation taking place in Brussels, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) reiterates that the draft as currently written is not acceptable, and undermines the European Union’s commitment to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and small farmers from Europe’s largest trading partner in South East Asia.
Joko Supriyono, Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) issued the following statement:
“The EU proposals on traceability, small farmers, and risk profiles clearly go beyond what is necessary and reasonable to guarantee sustainability. It would make the EU an outlier in refusing to support Indonesia’s record-breaking environmental progress, and put the EU directly at odds with the 2030 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. We urge the Council and Commission to be the voices of reason.”
Risk to Indonesian Small Farmers
The EU’s Deforestation Regulation must not undermine the social and economic development of Indonesia’s small farmers. This is a significant risk with the current draft
Forcing small farmers into expensive and complex traceability requirements will lead to those farmers being abandoned in the global marketplace. The EU Regulation would directly reverse decades of progress for rural communities across Indonesia, and increased poverty could be a direct and lasting effect of the EU Regulation.
There is a simple alternative path: A genuine, and comprehensive, exemption for small farmers from the EU Regulation is essential if the EU is to have any credibility in the developing world.
The EU’s trade paper released last year stated, “EU trade policy should use all the tools at its disposal to support social fairness and environmental sustainability.” We would hope that the EU sticks to its word.
Facts on Indonesia and Deforestation
1. Deforestation has fallen by more than three quarters over the past two decades and reached all-time lows.
2. The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) is on track to become the world’s largest-ever sustainability scheme for any commodity.
3. Indonesian palm oil’s sustainability is recognised by many trading partners including the UK Due Diligence Regulation (in the UK Environment Act).
4. Indonesia has signed new cooperation commitments with partner countries such as Norway, to guarantee forest protections going forward.