Indonesia oil palm farmer associations have said they will call for a boycott of European Union products imported into the country if the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) is not revoked.
The Tempoc.co news portal reported that the planned boycott would start with Airbus planes, BMW cars, Nestle goods, among others.
“It (the regulation) must be annulled, no revisions. The palm oil farmers won’t negotiate it, so it must be revoked,” said Tengku Rusli Ahmad, the general chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama’s farmers’ group.
His position was supported by the Chairperson of the Indonesian Palm Oil Farmers Association (Apkasindo) Gulat Manurung.
He said that his side is ready to boycott products from the European Union if the EUDR is not repealed.
“[To EU products, such as] Airbus planes, Nestle, BMW, we will carry out a negative campaign against them if it is not repealed. We will go against all European Union products. We will raid all shopping malls and remove all Sunflower products, including soybean oil. We will terminate them from the malls,” Gulat said.
The comments come as dozens staged a protest rejecting the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) in front of the European Union Embassy Office in Jakarta.
The Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers Association (Apkasindo) head, Gulat Manurung, said the issuance of the regulation on deforestation lowered the price of palm oil at the farmers’ level.
“Yesterday’s fresh fruit bunch (TBS) price was already Rp3,000 and crude palm oil (CPO) price was already Rp14,000. Now, the CPO price is Rp11,800 and TBS price is Rp1,800-Rp2,000,” said Gulat in front of the EU Embassy Office, Jakarta, on March 29.
According to him, the EUDR significantly affected the price fall. He considered the regulation as a negative campaign against palm oil, which lures people to refrain from buying them.
If CPO consumers drop, the TBS price at the farmers’ level would also plummet. Gatot underlined that at least 17 million palm oil farmers and workers from Aceh to Papua were affected by the regulation.
“[EU] said that palm oil is not good and destroys forests. Who destroys the forests? Oil palm plantation needs 30 years of replanting, while soy plantation takes three months to be harvested and replanted. Which one causes more damage? Which one gives more negative impacts on the environment?” Gatot quizzed.
During the demonstration, Gatot also submitted a petition to the representative of the EU Embassy Stephan Mechati.
The petition is demanding a revocation of the regulation, repeal of the ‘high-risk’ label for Indonesia, respect and recognition of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and other related regulations on palm oil, pledge of no more palm oil discrimination, as well as a written apology to all Indonesian farmers.
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