Infographics: Sustainable palm oil; where Colombia and the Netherlands meet
Palm oil forms an important part of the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Colombia. Colombia, the leading producer and exporter of palm oil in Latin America, is a large supplier of this product for the Netherlands. The country allocates almost 500.000 hectares of its soil to oil palm cropping, which accounts for 7% of its agricultural GDP. In fact, 30% of Colombian palm oil exports go to the Netherlands and until 2018 the value of those exports was increasing. Although in 2019 and 2020 the value of Colombian palm oil exports to the Netherlands decreased, the Netherlands continues to be the main destination for Colombian palm oil exports.
In September 2018, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality presented the vision on circular agriculture. The vision maps out the road in the near and distant future for a transition in agriculture from a continuous reduction in the cost price of products to a continuous reduction in consumption of raw materials and external inputs, and careful management of soil, water and nature. Thereby, reducing emissions of harmful substances as much as possible and, re-using and valorising agri-food waste. Which implies closing the loops in agri-food production. To realise this ambition, the Netherlands not only works within its own borders, but also aims and needs to cooperate with other countries, especially countries of origin on which the Netherlands is dependent for its imports. In Colombia, LAN Bogotá has developed a strategy for the coming years to realise the transition towards a more circular agriculture, wherein palm oil is one of the prioritised value chains.
In November 2018, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, visited Colombia. During the visit, Minister Schouten highlighted the role of the Netherlands as a leading nation in supporting sustainable production and trade of palm oil. During this visit, three bilateral memorandums were signed aiming at increasing the collaboration between both countries in the palm oil sector and at focusing on sustainability. First of all, a Government-to-Government agreement between the Dutch and Colombian Ministries of Agriculture. Second, a Business-to-Business agreement between Dutch and Colombian private sector federations; MVO and Fedepalma. And third, a Knowledge-to-Knowledge agreement between Wageningen University and the research body of Fedepalma, namely, Cenipalma.
In the following infographics you will find information about the commercial relationship between the Netherlands and Colombia in the palm oil value chain, as well as information about the projects supported by the Dutch government pursuing the materialisation of the vision on circular agriculture and the fulfilment of the aforementioned agreements.