European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) field visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, 31st October 2016

EPOA met with palm oil producers, industry organizations, government bodies, and civil society in Malaysia to learn, share, and discuss on the production of sustainable palm oil.

The participants of the European Palm Oil Alliance, joined by the Dutch, Belgian and Swedish Ambassadors to Malaysia, commenced the 4 days visit with a field trip to Sime Darby's palm oil plantation, oil mill and kernel crush mill at Carey Island. The delegation was briefed on the palm oil supply chain and the various aspects of managing a plantation sustainably. At the plantation they received a demonstration on the technique of the harvesting process and the collection of the fruit bunch manually and mechanically. Various types and stages of ripeness of the fruit bunch and explanation of the Integrated Pest Management methods using barn owls and planting beneficial flower plants to combat the pests in the area were shown. The participants continued to see the palm oil mill and palm kernel crush facilities that showed the various complex steps needed to separate the crude oil from the fresh fruit bunches

To commemorate the fact that this is the first time a joined European delegation, representing all companies and industry associations committed to sustainable palm oil visits the two main palm oil producing countries, a dinner reception at the Dutch ambassador's residence in Kuala Lumpur was held later that evening. The participants, including several EU ambassadors and representatives from the key Malaysian palm oil companies and organizations were able to network and share their views on sustainable palm oil with the European Palm Oil Alliance delegation. 

For the second day the participants met up and had discussions with different stakeholders in the Malaysian sustainable palm oil industry, starting with the office of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) then followed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and later an active engagement at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) also with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) present. 

For the remaining 2 days of the visit the participants traveled out of Malaysia for Pekanbaru in Riau, Sumatra, to continue their education on palm oil production.

The European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) as a business initiative has been committed to create a science based and balanced view on the nutritional and sustainability aspects of palm oil. EPOA communicates the full palm oil story and facilitates the European debate on palm oil.