Reputation Fake News Labeling Jakarta Post Paganini Palm Oil

Reputation Fake News Labeling The Jakarta Post – Pietro Paganini

my editorial in The Jakarta Post on the undermined reputation of palm oil. Opinion is available here (premium). The piece explains that the commercial war on biofuels is lost. Producing countries must focus on the reputation of palm oil under attack in the food claims “free from palm oil”.

Paganini Non Ripete - e-zine Road to the Future

The weekly e-zine that analyzes economic and social facts, elaborates and shares ideas, helps anticipating the future.

Here some excerpt

“We know full well that the war being waged against palm oil is a trade war. It was the producers of competing products that triggered it and waged it really aggressively, investing in significant resources as well as, and this has to be said, with wise efficiency. Indonesia and Malaysia, the two main victims of this war, have tried to fight back, but with very little effect. The facts of the last four years demonstrate just this. Finally, the reaction from Asia is becoming more aggressive, resorting to more traditional trading weapons: duties, tariffs, blockades. Protectionism does no one any good, but it is very useful during negotiations. And this is what Indonesia, and with a little less conviction, Malaysia too, would want. The decision to resort to the weapon of protectionism has perhaps arrived a little late, and there is no more time to reverse the EU’s choice to eliminate palm oil. The problem is not the decision of the European Parliament or that of the Commission, but it is the cultural choice that the old continent has taken to gradually exclude the use of traditional combustibles, be they fossil or vegetable. Palm oil is paying the highest price, and it is paying it immediately.”
“This time the war against palm oil has spread much further afield, involving many more interests compared to then (the producers of alternative energy, for example). Above all it has spread to the food sector, involving producers and, above all, the emotional reaction of consumers. They are an army, an increasingly growing multitude (according to the data on the perception of palm oil in different European countries), that marches alongside the vegetable oil, clean energy lobbies and food sector companies. How is this possible? The reasons are very simple: the west’s obsession – questionable – with health and healthy foods, and the resulting health ideology that is on a par with those of environmentalists; the emergence of new marketing and communication techniques, like, for example, resorting to a healthy claim on packaging and labelling; social media; the crisis with the Science and the dominance of prejudice, and therefore the spread of fake news. It is within this new context, that the communication campaign against palm oil has taken shape: fake news that is spread socially through different channels and various media in order to discredit an ingredient, to consumers who are terrorised by the dangers linked to health and the environment. It is a perfect strategy. False pieces of information are disseminated that terrorise consumers who demand a product that has no palm oil. Hence the “Palm Oil Free” claim.”
“The losses deriving from biodiesel can be recouped elsewhere. The harm to the reputation of palm oil could have unpleasant consequences, eroding not only financial and economic assets, but also the value of the two countries that are looking to dominate the global scene. It is for this reason that the battle against the “palm oil free” claim and the spread of fake news is, from a long-term perspective, more important than the losses that would result from Palmexit. Get a move on.”
Author

PNR