EU Regulation on deforestation-free products – What implications for smallholders?
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On 29 June 2023, the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products entered into force. The main driver of the Regulation is the expansion of agricultural land that is linked to the production of commodities like soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee, rubber and some of their derived products.
Under the Regulation, any operator or trader who places these commodities on the EU market, or exports from it, must be able to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation.
One of the categories affected by the regulation is that of smallholders, important stakeholders in the production value chain. According to the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), smallholders account for about 41% and 27% of total oil palm planted areas in Indonesia and Malaysia, respectively, and for about 35% - 40% of the global production of palm oil.
As the supply chain of independent smallholders is generally informal and there is often minimal documentation of transactions between the smallholder and other stakeholders, the CPOPC believes there is a risk that the Regulation will further exclude palm oil smallholders from the supply chains to Europe.
Join this Euractiv Hybrid Conference to discuss the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products, and particularly its impact on smallholders. Questions to be discussed include:
- What is the current state of play of the implementation of the European Union Regulation on Deforestation (EUDR) across EU Member States? What is the level of readiness in the implementation of EUDR?
- What steps are necessary from both the EU and the producing countries to ensure the successful implementation of the EUDR from a multilateral perspective?
- How can cooperation among stakeholders be sustained in the coming months and years to support the EUDR?
- What challenges and potential impacts does the EUDR pose for smallholder farmers, and how can we ensure that they are not left behind?
- What financial mechanisms could be established to provide support for smallholders in complying with the EUDR?
- How can governments and private companies be encouraged to invest in capacity-building for smallholders, to help them comply with the EUDR?
Euractiv Network Office
Boulevard Charlemagne 1, 1041 Brussels
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Head of Unit, Planetary Common Goods, Universal Values & Environmental Security, DG ENV, European Commission
Dr Musdhalifah Machmud
Deputy Minister for Food and Agribusiness, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of the Republic Indonesia
Dato' Hj. Mad Zaidi bin Mohd. Karli
Secretary General, Ministry of Plantation and Commodities of Malaysia
Gert van der Bijl
Senior EU Policy advisor, Solidaridad
Dr Rizal Affandi Lukman
Secretary General, CPOPC
15:30 – 16:00 Registration of participants
16:00 – 16:05 Welcome
16:05 – 16:20 Panellist statements
16:20 – 17:10 Discussion and Q&A
17:10 – 17:15 Closing statements
Followed by a networking reception.
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While big producers of palm oil, cocoa or coffee are ready to implement EU’s newly adopted anti-deforestation regulation, governments in Malaysia and Indonesia say more time is needed for small producers to meet the EU's bureaucratic requirements.