Jakarta (ANTARA) - The European Union (EU) still needs Indonesian palm oil, as the country's palm oil exports to Europe had soared by 26 percent in 2020, according to Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.

Moeldoko conveyed the statement to the Indonesian Palm Oil Farmers Association (Apkasindo) and the EU Ambassador for Indonesia Vincent Piket at the Bina Graha Building, Jakarta, on Monday.

The EU currently applies high and strict standards in exports, not only for palm oil but also for other commodities, he noted.

"One of the standards used is whether the product or commodity has an impact on environmental destruction. This is what everyone, including palm oil farmers, must pay attention to," Moeldoko expounded.

On the same occasion, EU Ambassador Vincent Piket stated that EU countries harbored aspirations of making Europe a climate-neutral continent by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030.

Regulations are projected to undergo strict changes or even products that are not environmentally friendly will be prohibited from entering Europe. Therefore, commodities exported to Europe from Indonesia must be produced more sustainably, Vincent stated.

Responding to the statement, Apkasindo Chairman Gulat Manurung remarked that Indonesian palm oil farmers had prioritized sustainability from an economic, ecological, and social perspective.

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"In accordance with the Omnibus Law on Job Creation (UU Cipta Kerja), 42 percent of the farmers in 22 Indonesian provinces must be sustainable in managing palm oil," Manurung affirmed.

The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) has facilitated Apkasindo's meeting with the EU ambassador for Indonesia to find a point of agreement regarding the issue of palm oil.

The EU Commission earlier threatened the sustainability of Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) exports to Europe through the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) regulation issued in 2018.

The policy necessitates EU countries to use RED II for at least 32 percent of their country's total energy consumption. Moreover, the policy has excluded palm oil as a raw material for biofuel production.

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Translator: Rangga, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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