Frans Claassen, chair EPOA
My personal journey towards sustainable palm oil started more than 15 years ago. As a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Netherlands, I have been living and working in South-east Asia for 5 years. Here I learned about the people, the wonderful nature and the palm oil industry. Back in the Netherlands, representing the oils and fats industry, I initiated our first steps towards sustainable palm oil in Europe.
Fifteen years later I am still here, working for EPOA and leading the way to market transformation towards 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020. As chair of EPOA I personally believe that to achieve our target, we not only need to explain our commitments towards sustainable palm oil, we also need to show our actions, and the progess that is being made throughout the supply chain. We have to convince and inspire!
My personal ambition is to realize a collective approach. Only if governments, industry, and NGO’s work together, we can halt deforestation, protect biodiversity and feed the world for generations to come. We all have to act and as chair of EPOA it’s my role to build the bridges and bring all parties together. That includes the European food industry and retail, who play a crucial role.
In Europe the supply of sustainable palm oil is higher than the demand. Only if food companies and supermarkets take their responsibility and buy sustainable palm oil, consumers all over Europe can trust that all the palm oil in their food is 100% sustainable. That’s my ultimate aim.
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