ICYMI: Palm Oil at Heart of ASEAN-EU Impasse Says Palm Oil Monitor

In Food Navigator Asia, co-host of Palm Oil Monitor Khalil Hegarty weighs in with his thoughts on how disagreements over palm oil are causing a stall in ASEAN-EU relations.

To read the interview, check out the story here.

In the last month, Palm Oil Monitor has exposed how Brussels is intentionally delaying the ASEAN Joint Working Group on Vegetable Oils. First, the EU wanted to expand the scope to include the EU’s broader approach on trade and other elements of the EU Green Deal focused on social and environmental goals; and second, no agreement has been reached on the agenda for the Working Group.

Hegarty points out in his interview with Food Navigator Asia that the UK post-Brexit is seeking a more positive and constructive approach with ASEAN, especially major palm oil producing countries, as they move forward with trade partnerships. For example, the UK has committed to a pathway to recognition for the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard as part of the UK government’s Due Diligence regulation. The EU has not made a similar commitment.

Hegarty continues his interview with a discussion on the Belgian government’s announcement that palm oil biofuels will be banned in 2022. Palm Oil Monitor covered the Belgian ban on biofuels with a piece by Belgian agronomist and co-author of the Palm Oil Monitor Pierre Bois d’Enghien in Belgium’s leading French speaking media Le Soir, where he noted Belgium’s decision to ban palm oil biofuels was undermining the cause of sustainability that Europe so desperately seeks.

Read the full Food Navigator Asia story, on the ASEAN-EU-UK dynamics, here.