Emotional statement French Minister counterproductive to sustainable palm oil production

Posted on: June 18, 2015

EPOA: statements and policies, based on emotions instead of facts and science damage multi stakeholder initiatives aiming for sustainable palm oil.

The European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) wants to emphasize that Ferrero, the manufacturer of Nutella, uses 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in its products. Ferrero is playing a leading role in the transformation of the palm oil industry into a sustainable sector.

With this, EPOA responds to a statement by The French ecology minister Ségolène Royal, who called on consumers to stop eating Nutella this week. She told French television network Canal+: “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming. We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil.”

Although in the meantime, the minister has apologized for her statements, we still feel the need to react, because this once more shows how important it is to have the right and complete information available in complex issues like the palm oil supply chain. EPOA wants to stress that statements and policies, based on emotions instead of facts and science will leave the consumer confused and will damage the trust in the food industry as well as in multi stakeholder initiatives like RSPO. Facts and science based policies are needed to make true sustainable changes and provide a real benefit to the environment and the consumers.

The oil palm is the most efficient oil crop in terms of land use. It has the highest yield compared to other oil crops. Replacing palm oil with other types of vegetable oils means that much larger amounts of land would need to be used.

Besides that, it is important to realize that in palm oil-producing countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, palm oil trade has the potential to contribute significantly to poverty reduction and economic growth. Replacing palm oil with other oils is counter-productive as it will certainly not help to make the overall production more sustainable. The best alternative for palm oil is sustainable palm oil.

Together with its members and stakeholders (producers, NGOs, governments, refiners, user companies, distributors and end users) EPOA is committed to transforming the supply chain for sustainable palm oil. EPOA regrets the statement by the Minister calling for a boycott of palm oil containing products, in particular Nutella, and expresses its concern about the consequences of such a statement.

The statement of the minister undermines all efforts and the work undertaken in the field by all stakeholders to transform the sector. We believe that over the last years huge improvements resulting in a more sustainable palm oil supply chain have been achieved. We truly believe that more progress can be made. What we do need is a firm collaborative and positive attitude from all stakeholders, not the least governments who should base their communication on facts.

 

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About EPOA

The European palm oil alliance was founded to create a platform for palm oil-related issues and discussions. Our goal is to create a balanced and objective view on the nutritional and sustainability aspects of palm oil, by providing science-based information. EPOA is committed to sustainable palm oil production.

 

Contact

For more information, please contact:

Frans Claassen, Chair European Palm Oil Alliance +31 6 13 23 08 74

European Palm Oil Alliance
Louis Braillelaan 80
2719 EK Zoetermeer
The Netherlands

E: info [at] palmoilalliance [dot] eu

 

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