Indonesia and Malaysia lead the world in palm oil production at a time when demand is booming. However, environmental worries and a proposed Malaysian export tax cut are expected to be key issues at the Indonesian Palm Oil Conference beginning today.
Certified sustainable palm oil would gain market traction if India and China reduced their import levies, said the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. "Both markets are very price sensitive, and even though the sustainability premium is not high, any premium is a problem," RSPO President Jan-Kees Vis said at the group's annual meeting in Singapore last month.
About 14% of global palm oil is certified for sustainability, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and while countries such as Indonesia have remained skeptical, Unilever and other multinational companies are leading the charge. "Unilever will share its 2020 traceable palm oil vision and make a call to the industry to partner together to make 100 percent traceable certified palm oil a reality," said Cherie Tan of Unilever.