Sunday, October 20, 2019

Food exports to EU in trouble in wake of Zero Palm Policy

Oct 10. 2019
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By THE NATION

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After the EU's announcement of Zero Palm Oil policy which has encouraged member countries to reduce the consumption of palm oil and biodiesel produced from palm, EU importers has informed Thai exporters that food products delivered to EU will be prohibited from using palm oil as an ingredient, and needs to show "no palm oil" as an ingredient on the labels, said Visit Limlurcha, president of Food Processing Industry under the Federation of Thai Industry (FTI).

The Zero Palm Oil policy was enforced after claims of palm farming partly associated with deforestation and environmental degradation while palm biodiesel also emits more greenhouse gas than other fuels.

“The export products affected by this policy are snack, curry, and instant foods which are fried in oil palm or includes it as an ingredient” said Visit. “Although the policy is not officially part of the import regulations, Thai exporters need to adjust their production process by using other kinds of oil, such as rice oil or soybean oil”.

“Moreover, we are afraid of the policy will spread to other markets banning the imports of palm oil and palm-oil-ingredient products” Visit said.

Meanwhile, a source in automobile industry said that the main reason behind the EU's palm oil policy is its hidden agenda in electronic vehicles promotion, using the environmental threat of palm farming as an excuse.

Malaysia and Indonesia, the first and second biggest exporters, have threatened to sue the EU over its palm oil policy at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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