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CRP Lecture: Palm Oil--Leading on the Long Road to Sustainability with Yu Leng Khor (Head Research for Southeast Asia at LMC International)

When May 17, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM
Where Alison Richard Building, SG1
Contact Name
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The Centre for Rising Powers is pleased to host Yu Leng Khor (LMC International) for a lecture on

Palm Oil: Leading on the Long Road to Sustainability
Chair: Dr Kun-Chin Lin, Director of the Centre for Rising Powers, POLIS
Discussant: TBA

Abstract: 
Palm oil, the world’s leading source of oils and fats, has undergone a rapid transition to sustainability certification via voluntary standards. Vertically integrated plantation giants have been keen to offer certified product, but small producers and smallholders are lagging behind, leading to a consolidation of supply and knock-on effects on product prices for smaller players. After 12 years, palm oil’s key certification programmes have achieved an 18% demand share, all amidst rising cost-complexity and pressing questions about labour and the ongoing peat-fire driven haze-smog crisis. Given the relative maturity of the palm oil sustainability movement, we ask what this could mean for sustainability policy evolution. Many point to the problem of policy leakage in voluntary standards. Some argue that it is only (well implemented) state-driven policy that can bring real change at the origins. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo’s April 2016 suggestion for an oil palm concession moratorium bears watching. Can this reduce deforestation?

Yu Leng Khor, B.A. (Oxon), M.Sc. (Econs) is the Head Research for Southeast Asia at LMC International, a leading independent economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector around the world. Yu Leng has researched the agribusiness sector for over ten years, specialising on cane sugar, palm oil, soy and the commercial economics of its sustainable supply-chains in Asia and frontier markets. She has published on a wide range of issues surrounding palm oil, including sustainability policy, the Indonesia peat fires and oil palm smallholders as well as the political economy of FELDA smallholders.

All are welcome to attend. 

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