The Most Controversial Commodity: Oil Palm

Surprisingly, a wonder crop that bring a prosperity for some ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. This has become the most controversial vegetable oil, which much talked by conference held after the Bangkok ASEAN Summit.


The event was the three-day 17th annual meeting of the multistakeholder body called (RSPO) Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This multistakeholder body at least has 4,400 plantation companies, consumers, refiners, lenders and also green groups consist of 90 countries which aim to promote environmentally sustainable palm oil.

Based on the research, oil palm trees produces at least 5 till 10 times more than all other vegetable oil  crops, that grow in ASEAN with temperate-zone countries. That's why these countries ideally making it cheaper and simpler to manage. Eventually it ends to be more efficient in the use of land.

Beside of that, there are still many benefits take from this such as cosmetics and consumer products, its fruits are processed for food ingredients, even now it has been developed for biofuel. Eventually, to generate electricity in far isolated areas, the use of effluents of palm oil is also important.

But recently, massive forest fires especially in Kalimantan and Sumatra has destroyed many oil palm plantations in Indonesia. This precisely is able to weakened Indonesia's position in defending palm oil  sustainability.

In the other hand, the attack of the palm oil industry from European to suspect that the negative campaign is appeared by the business interests of vegetable oil producers.  Well, if this mutual distrust is never deleted, there will no meaningful understanding for the importance of palm oil sustainability. This issue always becomes a relationship barrier between Europe and Indonesia.*

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