G20: the Sustainable Vegetable Oils ConferenceBALI, 3 NOVEMBER 2022

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G20: the Sustainable Vegetable Oils Conference


Bali, 3 November 2022.

The Sustainable Vegetable Oils Conference (Bali, 3 November) co-organized by Competere as side event of the G20 was a resounding success, with the participation of the most important stakeholders in the vegetable oil sector. Taking part in the conference were representatives of the main producer countries: China, India, Russia and Ukraine, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. 

This shows that in this period marked by international conflict and geopolitical tension, the community of vegetable oil producers stands united and not divided, in a shared attempt to provide the world with the energy necessary both to guarantee food security and to allow the economy to grow. Also speaking at the conference were representatives of international institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as multinationals such as Cargill and Sime Darby, and sector organisations such as GAPKI, the US Soy Bean Board, the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, or NGOs such as Solidaridad, and think tanks such as Competere.

Over the last couple of years, many production chains have buckled under the weight of the pandemic, the sudden, continual bottlenecks in the supply chain, the climate crisis and geopolitical tension, which have pushed prices sky-high. The vegetable oil supply chain has weathered the storm, demonstrating impressive resilience. Where the production and distribution of some oils has been blocked or slowed down, others have stepped in to guarantee food and energy security. 

In this dramatic scenario, many supply chains, such as the palm oil and soya chains, have managed to invest in innovation and sustainability, reducing the impact of farming and production systems on biodiversity and the use of the soil and forests. If we look at the figures, of all supply chains, the vegetable oil chain, headed by palm oil, has proved the most sustainable and resilient. It has also continued to respond positively to increasingly stringent legislation regarding quality and environmental and human resources sustainability that Europe has continued to develop, often adopting a unilateral, uncooperative approach. Vegetable oils have also stood up to the paradoxical media campaigns to boycott them that have been organised by other sectors and NGOs, with scant awareness of the desperate need the West has for vegetable oils. 

The first vegetable oil conference has discussed these problems, as well as the challenges that await humankind, given the exponential growth of population and consumption, and the climate crisis.

International globally acclaimed speakers discussed 3 main topics: 

  • Vegetable oils in the age of uncertainty

The first session, moderated by Agus Purnomo (Golden Agri-Resources) and Fadhil Hasan (IPOA), highlighted the impact of the current crises on the vegetable oils supply chain. In addition, the speakers outlined the efforts of different countries in addressing the challenges, with the goal of ensuring sustainable and resilient supply chains. The first panel consisted of the following speakers: H.E. Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Minister of Agriculture, the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, People’s Republic of China, Mikhail Maltsev, Executive Director of Oil and Fat Union of Russia, H.E. Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of India, H.E Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.

  • Navigating vegetable oils dynamics 

The second session was moderated by Pietro Paganini, who led the speakers in establishing a general geopolitical perspective. The speakers discussed topics such as commodity prices, inflation, national interests, and trade restrictions. Speakers on the second panel were: Cédric Pene, Counsellor of Agriculture and Commodities Division, The World Trade Organization, Martin Frick, Director, United Nations World Food Program Global Office, Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Mohamad Helmy Othman, Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Berhad, Mac Marshall, Vice President Market Intelligence at United Soy Bean Board, USA, Jose Angel Olivero, Sales Director, Lipidos Santiga S.A. (LIPSA)Venkata Reddy, Senior Global Trader Tropical Oils, Cargill International Pte Ltd. 

  • Enhancing sustainable supply chain dynamics 

The third session, moderated by Mohammad Nageeb (CPOPC), aimed to discuss the positive impact of the vegetable oil supply chain on climate and biodiversity, emphasizing how it contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The third panel featured speakers: Witjaksana Darmosarkoro, Director Sustainability of Council of Palm Oil Producing CountriesDatuk Daud Amatzin, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council, Baganda Siagian, Director of plantation protection, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia, Khaled Obaideen, researcher, The University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Joseph D’ Cruz, Chief Executive Officer Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Suresh Motwani, Asia Programme Head – Vegetable Oil, Solidaridad Asia, U.R. Unnithan, Cofounder & CEO, DIBIZ Pte. Ltd. 

To watch and download the slides of the speakers click here


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