- France and Malaysia have a long, and positive relationship – in politics, trade, diplomacy, and so much more. It was of course a Frenchman who first introduced oil palm to Malaysia: a great example of the historic and mutually beneficial links of our two countries.
- Malaysia has an equally proud history with Belgium, which also includes a link to oil palm. Adrien Hallet, an agronomist from Belgium, was one of the earliest advisors and planters of oil palm in Southeast Asia.
- An important element of mutual friendship is understanding; and I think one of the main reasons for launching the campaign today is to increase the understanding in Europe about palm oil and its cultural, social and economic importance to Malaysia.
- Over a million people – and many thousands of small farmers – rely on the palm oil sector for their livelihood in Malaysia. Many local communities and villages were founded and continue to thrive due to the establishment of profitable, sustainable oil palm plantations.
- I very much hope that this campaign encourages consumers in France to look more closely at the truth of palm oil and to understand the reality in Malaysia.
Agriculture, food and farming are important to French culture and lifestyle. Palm oil is at the centre of Malaysian culture, just as French or Belgian agricultural products may be at the centre of your culture.