The hearing was held on the initiative of Czech MEP, Kateřina Konečná, during a meeting of the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Representing the Coalition Against Palm Oil and Czech organisation, Lestari, guest speaker Jakub Kvapil told the hearing: “The Czech Republic and the European Union should commit to removing the element of deforestation from their supply chains, especially with regards to sectors connected with the production of food, biofuels, cosmetics and cleaning products.”

On behalf of his organisations, Kvapil added: “We thank Mrs. Konečná for inviting us to attend today´s public hearing and we are happy that at least part of the Czech political representation is aware of this serious situation.”

MEP Kateřina Konečná, who cooperates with these organisations, explained the motivation for the meeting: “The topic of palm oil is very complex. It concerns issues of the environment, sustainable development, fair trade, social affairs, international trade, food safety and more. I think we can reach an agreement across the political spectrum, because it is a relatively apolitical topic.

“I am glad that the European Parliament is dealing with palm oil on my initiative. This is just the beginning and the initial enthusiasm must be converted into action.”

German MEP, Stefan Eck, who also participated in the hearing, added: “Enough lies, time is running out. We have to speak the truth. The next generation will ask us: what have you done to our planet?”

“Rampant ignorance and the lack of political will have prevented us from finding solutions. We must set a limit to the destruction of our planet; we cannot allow ongoing deforestation to produce palm oil and soya beans, nor can we allow the continued use of land as animal pastures just to have steaks on our plates.”

“I regret that I do not see any real commitment by the Commission and the Council to tackle the problem!” Eck concluded.


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