European Industry Meeting on Palm Oil in Amsterdam

Posted on: June 02, 2015

On June 2, EPOA organised the European Industry Meeting on Palm Oil. The meeting was organised in collaboration with the RSPO as an opportunity for national Palm Oil Initiatives, European industry associations, palm oil related organizations and relevant players to strengthen their cooperation across the palm oil supply chain. The meeting discussed the latest developments in the palm oil debate and the way forward. Together with all partners and stakeholders the aim was to strengthen the national initiatives and increase effectivity by coordinating activities on palm oil and nutrition as well as on sustainability in Europe. The industry meeting also functioned as an step up for the RSPO roundtable on the 3rd of June.

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During the morning it became clear that palm oil remains high on the nutrition and health agenda in several European countries and is being publicly debated from the policymaker to the consumer. The heat and shape of the debate is very different in individual member states. Local aspects play an important role in setting the tone of the debate, influencing policies that are being made at different levels. EPOA aims to rebalance the debate and provide fact-based information on the nutritional aspects of palm oil, supporting the national initiatives.

The early afternoon session was dedicated to sharing consumer insights and developments in the production and uptake of sustainable palm oil. The latest insights on the consumer perceptions of palm oil were addressed both regarding sustainability as well as the nutritional aspects. From the consumer image, this session moved to consumer needs and further elaborated on best practices in the food supply chain in Europe and in specific European countries aiming to increase the uptake of sustainable palm oil.

The late afternoon session was meant to align efforts in rebalancing the debate on palm oil and food. The Dutch government has sustainable palm oil high on the agenda and wants to support front running companies and initiatives to help them achieve their goals. Furthermore, some national initiatives presented cases and learnings on topics such as monitoring, consumer communication, lobbying and technical toolkits.

At the end of the meeting, an interactive session aimed to align the needs of the National Initiatives in Europe and identified key elements that can be centrally executed or coordinated.