The Jakarta Post
The Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries (CPOPC) has expressed dismay over the decision of UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Foods to stop selling palm oil products.
CPOPC executive director Mahendra Siregar said the ban was an act of discrimination against palm oil products and could turn into a global campaign against the commodity.
In a letter to Iceland Foods managing director Richard Walker dated April 13, Mahendra said palm oil had the highest productivity among vegetable oils, making it the most sustainable commodity in the use of land.
He said 1 hectare of land yielded only 0.3 tons of rape seed oil or 0.6 tons of soybean oil and sun flower oil, while 6 tons of palm oil could be produced in the same space.
Such a discriminative measure would speed up land degradation, cause more flora and fauna damage and boost CO2 emission, he added.
The supermarket chain said oil palm plantations contributed to deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia and threatened the extinction of endangered species, Reuters reported recently.
“The campaign to cease using palm oil by Iceland would even cause more excessive use of land and is unlikely to replace palm oil [by another vegetable oil] globally,” said Mahendra in the letter, a copy of which was seen by The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
The CPOPC has 10 member countries. (bbn)