The US ban on imports from one of the world’s biggest palm oil producers highlights the seriousness of human rights abuse issues. However, the ban on the Malaysian firm and ongoing media scrutiny are not likely to improve conditions for palm plantation workers unless the Malaysian government intervenes.
India-Malaysia relations are improving as India resumes imports of palm oil from the Southeast Asian state, with Malaysia positioned to see further economic benefits and India standing to benefit politically.
Wilmar, one of the world’s biggest palm oil companies, left a coalition that aims to reduce carbon emissions and deforestation, citing management problems. Now the firm’s commitment to sustainability is cast further into doubt.
Slash and burn practices for palm oil led to a sharp increase in Indonesian forest fires this year. Top global consumer brands continue to buy raw products from producers engaging in these activities.
As India and Malaysia attempt to settle a dispute over palm oil, the bout shows how quickly nationalists are willing to threaten international norms, from accountability for human rights abuses to trade relations.
Since November 2018, The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) has highlighted excessive palm oil import volume. When it threatened to issue a temporary ban, Malaysia and Indonesia finally responded.
The EU approved a draft to ban palm oil importation for use in biofuel. This will have damaging effects on Indonesian and Malaysian exports.
Facebook0TwitterReddit0LinkedinemailPalm oil is big business in Indonesia but the impacts of slash and burn farming, human rights abuses and ecological destruction are creating a toxic…