In Indonesia, delegates from Indonesian government and palm oil organizations pushed for more acceptance of palm oil from Switzerland and the EU in general at a recent event in Germany. Mahendra Siregar, Executive Director of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, said in a written statement from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, “Indonesia controls about 55 percent of world palm production, and palm produces 4-10 times more oil per hectare compared to other vegetables oil commodities, such as rapeseed oil and sunflower oil which is a typical European commodity.”
However, many European countries attack palm oil for deforestation, human rights abuses and damage to ecosystems. Norway banned the use of palm oil for biofuel in June this year and Indonesian delegates expressed fear that Switzerland or other EU countries will follow. The forum in Germany was held to establish closer relationships between Indonesian palm oil business circles and Switzerland and other EU countries in hopes of increasing palm oil exports to Switzerland and the EU.