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    Posted December 23, 2011 by
    Chicago, Illinois

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    Dutch to press for abolition of EU levies on palm oil

    The Netherlands is to press the European Commission for the abolition of the EU import levies on sustainably produced crude palm oil, Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has said.

    Due to the high costs, resulting among other factors from the import levies, demand for sustainable palm oil lags behind supply. The levies also put a brake on farmers and companies going ahead with making their production more sustainable, in palm-oil producing countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Verhagen wants accelerated cuts in the European import levies on sustainably produced palm oil, compared with that which is produced conventionally. He will present this plan in Brussels within the framework of the EU's negotiations with Malaysia on a free trade agreement.

    The Netherlands is the most important European importer and processor of palm oil. Of the 1.7 million tonnes of crude palm oil that the country imports - with a trade value of some 1 billion euros - three-quarters is re-exported. About 70 percent of the imported palm oil is processed into food products.

    The refinery of Neste Oil, the biggest in Europe for biodiesel, uses palm oil among other products that are converted into high-value bio-fuel. This plant on Rotterdam's Maasvlakte has production capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year and employs about 150.

    Note: Deforestation Watch aka Melbourne Zoo Watch was originally established to drive green issues on palm oil mainstream. However, Deforestation Watch has in the course of its existence evolved into Melbourne Zoo Watch and now considerable time and energy is spent on exposing the sly misdeeds and devious schemes of the Melbourne Zoo in using palm oil to surreptitiously raise funds for the zoo. www.deforestationwatch.org
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