Nusa Dua, Bali, (ANTARA News) - Negative campaigns, which begin in Western Europe, already reached Russia linking the tropical vegetable oil environmental damage and that it is hazardous to health.
Russians are not very concerned with environment but they are very sensitive to issue related to the healthiness of food, representative of the Russian Association Vegetable Oil and Fat Yulia Dementyeva said .
"We have information that palm oil was cheaper and palm oil was used to produce edible chemicals," Yulia, who took part in the two-day international conference of the 14th Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) and 2019 Price Outlook di Nusa Dua, Bali, ending here on Friday.
The information discouraged Russian consumers from using palm oil for cooking, she said.
"However, after coming to Indonesia at the invitation of the Oil Palm Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDP) and visited palm oil processing factories we have different view about palm oil," she added.
She said she and a number of Russian journalists were shown how palm oil was processed to turn out many products including edible oil and chemical materials for cosmetics and soap.
"We are surprised at seeing cooking oil from palm oil sold at supermarkets," Yulia said on the sidelines of the international conference.
Alexander Gavrilenko from the Russian National Agrarian Agency, said Russia needs larger supply of vegetable oil and currently vegetable oil supplies are dominated by sunflower oil.?
Alexander said palm oil could be an alternative vegetable oil in Russia cheaper in price but most Russians are still doubt the healthiness of palm oil for food.
He said his visit to oil palm plantations in Raiu seeing the process of producing palm oil changed his view of the vegetable oil.
"I will write something about palm oil that the Russian people would know that they have alternative edible vegetable oil," Alexander, who works for an agricultural media in Rostov, Russia.
Polina Kondrashina from Interfax News Agency and Artem Falchev from Milknews, who have also visited oil palm plantation and palm oil processing factories in Riau also said they had different view of palm oil after visiting Indonesia.?
Artem, who works for consumer goods mdia, including dairy products said in Russia palm oil is used mainly as the feed stock for emulsion only as it is cheaper than milk fat. ?
"Therefore, in Russia products using animal fats and vegetable fats particularly palm oil are set separately," he said.
An official of the Indonesian embassy in Moscow Adiguna Wijaya said Indonesias exports of palm oil to Russia have continued to increase and now the second largest after machinery exports .?
Palm oil exports to Russia were valued at US$551 million last year when Indonesia s total exports to that country were valued at US$2.48 billion and Indonesias imports in the bilateral trade were worth US$788.8 million.
Indonesia is the worlds largest producer of palm oil and is facing marketing problem especially in Europe where negative campaign against the commodity is strong.
Source: ANTARA News