Aimed at promoting palm oil trade and sustainable production in India and Indonesia, key oil trade bodies from the two countries have agreed to create a Joint Working committee to look into the trade matters and implement sustainable practices.

At a meeting held on December 19 in Jakarta, the Indonesian Palm Oil Board and The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) have agreed on a roadmap to promote sustainable palm oil production in India and Indonesia.

In July 2018, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the SEA, Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI) and Solidaridad Network Asia Limited (SNAL) for the purpose. “We are happy to inform that a high-powered committee has been formed and the roadmap for actions to be initiated in this regard has been agreed. We can expect serious action on the palm front in future. Needless to say, the Indonesian government is fully behind the proposed initiatives as a facilitator,” said Atul Chaturvedi, President, SEA, in a statement.

The MoU is aimed at striking a close co-operation between the organisations concerned to jointly promote Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil and Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework in India, besids creating awareness on the health benefits of palm oil. It was decided that a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Derom Bangun, Chairman of Indonesian Palm Oil Board and SEA President, Chaturvedi as co-chairman will lead the initiatives.

As per data available with the SEA, the bilateral trade between the two countries reached $18.1 billion, of which about 35 per cent or$4.9 billion were exports of palm oil products from Indonesia to India.