Detoxifying palm oil

26 March 2020

Written by: Saskia Ozinga and Hugh Speechly

Detoxifying palm oil

How European Union policy could remove deforestation and human rights violations from the palm oil trade with Indonesia

Palm oil is omnipresent in our lives due to its wide range of uses. It is also the focus of many campaigns because of the detrimental impacts its production has on forests and forest-dependent communities. These campaigns have convinced many governments and businesses that coherent action in needed. As one of the world’s biggest importers of palm oil, the European Union (EU) is a large part of the problem, but it could also be an important part of the solution. For example, around 60 per cent of all palm oil is produced in Indonesia, and much of it is imported to the EU. The EU and Indonesia should therefore deliver trade and development policies which ensure palm oil production respects indigenous peoples’ and community rights and doesn’t harm forests. 

This discussion paper aims to provide a constructive way forward; to consider how the palm oil trade between the EU and Indonesia can benefit both parties, while mitigating deforestation and respecting rights. It is based on a research paper, Indonesia-EU palm oil trade and consumption and which documents all Indonesian palm oil initiatives we found, and outlines more information about the various options. 

The summary report is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

Categories: Reports, EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement, Indonesia

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