TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Executive Director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, Rosediana, said the black campaign being carried out by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in London, England, on palm oil does not much affect the commodity’s production rate.
However, she acknowledged that there is an influence from the moral aspect. “From the moral aspect, there is an influence, for example, the suggestion not to buy Indonesian production and the effort of intimidating,” she told Tempo, Sunday (6/10).
Rose said that the counter-campaign against the black campaign even received positive response from local and international media in London. The counter-campaign was carried out by the Agriculture Department along with palm oil entrepreneurs last week.
She hoped that the campaign could be the start of good relations between Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) producers and the international press.
Agriculture Minister, Anton Apriyanto, agreed with Rose. According to him, so far the information received by the public and the media is not in balance. “They only have the bad information, without any response from us.”
Anton explained the department’s delegation met several members of the economic ministry in London to discuss the opportunity of cooperation in agriculture. Yet, the lobby was still talked about..
The capacity of national producers for export to Europe is estimated to be between 2.3 and 2.5 million tons per year. This amount is lower compared to CPO export from Malaysia, as that country has three refineries on a large scale in Europe.
Last year, there was a decrease in CPO export to Europe, about 500,000 tons. The decrease was not only done by Indonesian producers, but also all CPO producers. The export decrease was not caused by the intensive negative campaign.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Board’s data shows that the palm oil plantation area in 2006 was 6.007 million hectares with CPO production 15.8 million tons per year. This year, it is estimated that CPO production will increase to 17.4 million tons. As regards Indonesia’s CPO export total for 2005, it was 10.44 million tons and rose to 12.15 million tons in 2006. This year, it is estimated to reach 13.05 million tons.