PETALING JAYA: Palm oil produced by Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) smallholders will not be affected by the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR), said the EU ambassador to Malaysia, Michalis Rokas.
The new regulation will not have an impact on the smallholders as Felda has not cleared any forest to open new plantations since 1990, he said.
“Since your (smallholders’) plantations (under) Felda have had no deforestation since 1990, the rule does not apply. I want to make it clear the EUDR will only apply if the land is cleared from Jan 1, 2021,” he said during a palm oil dialogue session jointly organised today by the EU Mission to Malaysia and the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia to address concerns on the regulation.
Rokas noted that the EUDR was introduced by the EU in November 2021 to limit deforestation caused by the consumption of agricultural commodities and products from around the world.
He dismissed claims that the regulation was aimed at protecting the EU’s domestic oilseeds market, which faces tough competition from palm oil.
“The EUDR is purely an environmental law as the EU wants to contribute to fighting climate change and preserving forests.
“It is a very fair regulation with respect to sustainable development goals and the eight commodities listed had been chosen through scientific studies.
“(For example), scientists around the world had found that cattle rearing contributed the most to deforestation,” he added.
As a note, the EUDR would require the exporting companies to produce a due diligence report with verifiable information that the regulated commodities were not grown on land deforested after 2020.