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29 May 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Eco-Business

Indonesia & Malaysia: Officials to meet EU policymakers over palm oil deforestation rule

"Indonesia, Malaysia cry 'discrimination' in lobbying against EU palm oil restrictions", 29 May 2023

Top officials from Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s biggest palm oil producers, will meet European Union policymakers in Brussels amid a diplomatic standoff over a new deforestation rule that threatens to shut the commodity out of the EU market.

The rule, formally adopted by the EU on May 16, bans the trading within the bloc of products and commodities linked to deforestation and forest degradation, in an effort to protect forests globally. To be able to enter the EU market, producers would have to provide “verifiable” information that their commodities were not grown on land that was deforested after 2020.

Palm oil is one of several commodities subject to the rule, officially called the European Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR), alongside beef, soy, cocoa and others. It’s a ubiquitous ingredient in processed foods, cosmetics and biodiesel, whose production has long been associated with the wholesale clearing of tropical rainforestsburning of peatlands, destruction of endangered wildlife habitatland conflicts with Indigenous and traditional communities, and labour rights abuses.