Friday, 28 September 2012
It wasn’t the first time it happened in sports, and it certainly won’t be the last. But perhaps mentioning it again can help keep us from making a similar shameful error.
A college coach—one noted for his character—resigned in disgrace recently after it was discovered that he had violated rules clearly spelled out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. One magazine article concluded: “His integrity was one of the great myths of college football.”
This was certainly an embarrassing time for the coach, but when we relate it to the situation facing palm oil which is subject to a concerted and cleverly concealed plan by the European Commission (EC) to rein in its incredible growth to protect the EU’s own indigenous edible oilseed industries such as its sunflower and rapeseed oil industries, which are unable to compete with the hyper yielding palm oil in the open market, the EC should be ashamed!
Whilst palm oil can produce an average yield of 4.14 metric tons per hectare and its competitors such as sunflower oil can only produce 0.53 and rapeseed 0.69 metric tons per hectare, it is easy to see why the EC should consider extreme measures to stop the growth of palm oil by fair means or foul! Couple this with the fact that both EU produced edible oils had just about reached their genetic limit on yield growth whilst palm oil is just beginning!
Current best in class palm oil plantations are regularly producing 8 metric tons per hectare and R&D points to a genetic limit of 20 metric tons per hectare which will hit palm oil’s competitors out of the park, market wise. This means that on a price competition basis, palm oil’s pricing will get ever more competitive in the next few decades. Already wildly popular with food manufacturers on account of its competitive pricing and attractive health profile plus food manufacturing friendly heat tolerance, this portends tough times for the EU’s edible oils ahead.
Two further developments have frightened the living daylights out of the EC. Palm oil is an excellent feedstock in the manufacture of biofuels and palm oil cultivation is spreading to the African continent!
With its massive land mass and a climate that suits palm oil cultivation (palm oil in fact, originated from Africa) it is little wonder that the EC had deemed it necessary to resort to making things up for protectionist reasons! However, mindful that it cannot be seen to be violating the EU’s competition laws and the WTO trade rules, the EC then elected to fund green group surrogates to launch spurious palm oil campaigns that the EC is aware is based on manufactured and false evidence!
And so in Africa today, we have the likes of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), EON Climate Renewables and Africa Renewables all vocally opposed to the expansion of palm oil on the African continent citing the well worn accusation, one badly dog eared through overuse, of massive deforestation and land dislocation of local communities.
It is certainly instructive to look at Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo’s expose of the EC’s mala fides in funding anti-palm oil campaigns for the past half a decade using green group surrogates like the usual suspects, Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth to see a familiar pattern emerging. The shocking aspect is that Libertiamo’s report points out that the EC is aware that the allegations against palm oil by these green groups are based on manufactured and false evidence!
Says Libertiamo: “the criticisms against the industry are regularly based on claims MANUFACTURED BY NGOs that are not backed up by hard evidence!”
However, in so crassly funding palm oil campaigns that are at best, supported by “manufactured evidence, as noted by Libertiamo, the EC have just played with the livelihood of palm oil smallholders who eke out a living on palm oil, bandying them about as a cat would do with a piece of string! Heartless would be putting it mildly! THE END