KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil may be the most consumed oil in the world, accounting for 35% of the global vegetable oil market, but many untruths generated by anti-palm oil lobbies circulate around the commodity.
To counter such misconception and negativity, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has initiated “a mark of provenance and an information campaign for more responsible palm oil” in France and Belgium.
The European campaign is to combat preconceived ideas and invites the public to form their own opinion on palm oil, as well as to reaffirm Malaysia’s commitment to responsible and sustainable production of the oil.
“This campaign is to encourage a more balanced debate and correct the myths – the consequences of which are underestimated,” MPOC CEO Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron told a press conference at the campaign launch in Paris yesterday.
He said many myths and falsehoods had been said about palm oil, adversely impacting on those working in the industry in Malaysia or in Europe.
“Palm oil provides a livelihood for over one million people in Malaysia, including 300,000 small farmers,” he said.
United Plantations vice-chairman Datuk Carl Bek-Nielsen added at the launch: “We want to let every citizen and consumer form their own opinion based on the reality on the ground.
“We hope they will realise that the Malaysian oil palm industry is committed to producing an oil that is more responsible in terms of the environment, health and the people who make a living from it.”
Orchestrated by global communications agency Havas Paris, the campaign entitled They Say Everything And Anything At All About Malaysian Palm Oil “relies on the curiosity and exacting standards of the citizen consumer, who is invited to view the original and informative content made available on the malaysianpalmoil.info website”.
The integrated communication platform has several components: a press, poster and digital campaign in France and Belgium (a series of five amusing and colourful illustrations takes a playful look at a number of widespread myths as a way of challenging the people); and an educational website (malaysianpalmoil.info) offering informative content, together with a quiz to win a study trip to Malaysia.
Others include a mini web-documentary (six two-minute sequences on production, animals, food, forests, health, social issues, etc) which follows the adventures of three students and young professionals who met Malaysian palm oil stakeholders; social networks to share content and interact with the public; and a platform for relaying information to the French and Belgian media.
For details, check out malaysianpalmoil.info.