The industry has been under threat after the European Union (EU) launched campaigns against palm oil, Director General of Plantation at the Agriculture Ministry Kasdi Subagyono said in Jakarta on Friday.
"Should (the palm oil industry) collapse, this will have an extraordinary impact on the national economy. The state will intervene to protect the 16.2 million people who rely on palm oil," he said while opening the International Labor on Palm Oil Conference.
Commenting on the EU's threat to the national palm oil industry through the Renewable Energy Directive (REID) 2 banning the use of palm oil as a biodiesel fuel, he said the threat is serious.
"In facing the issue, we must also consider the continuation of inter-state relations in which we already have the EU Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Hence, the issue should be referred to the WTO," he said.
Since the REID 2 which described palm oil as a high-risk plant for the environment has been promulgated, it will no longer be subject to change, he said.
"We can take stern measures. If we stop exporting palm oil to Europe, many factories there will go bankrupt. However, we will take a more persuasive approach," he said.
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