Palm oil leads the edible oil market as Bangladesh consumed over 3 million tonnes of edible oil in 2020

-A Monitor Report Date: 02 September, 2021 | 609 Views
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Dhaka, September 1st, 2021: The per capita consumption of edible oil in Bangladesh increased by 20 per cent in the last five years to reach 18.4 kgs in 2020 while the overall consumption of edible oil increased by 36 per cent in five years to reach 3.03 million tonnes in 2020 against 2.22 million tonnes in 2015. Palm oil, one of the largest consumed vegetable oils, enjoys a market share of 55 to 60 per cent due to its price competitiveness and other factors in the country.

The facts were presented at an international webinar titled “Edible Oils & Fats Consumption Trend in Bangladesh" organized by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), an inter-governmental organization for palm oil producing countries. The webinar was a part of CPOPC Webinar Series on “Sustainable palm oil towards a better world” with a special focus on the growing consumption trends of the highest consumed palm oil, its qualitative aspects over other edible oils and its role in meeting the increasing demand of the people and the most crucial SDGs in the country.

Eminent industry experts AKM Fakhrul Alam, Regional Manager, Bangladesh and Nepal, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC); Dr. Puspo Edi Giriwono, Head, Southeast Asian Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (SEAFAST) Center, IPB University and Faisal Mahmud, Senior Marketing Manager, Bangladesh Edible Oil Ltd (BEOL) discussed the key industry trends, challenges, and recommendations to enhance the market share of palm oil in Bangladesh to meet the ever-growing demands of the country’s consumers.  Dr. Yusof Basiron, Executive Director and Dupito D. Simamora, Deputy Executive Director, CPOPC gave remarks and shared perspectives while Yash Kansal, Deputy Managing Director (India), APCO Worldwide moderated the webinar.

In his opening remarks, Dr Yusof Basiron, Executive Director of CPOPC said, “Bangladesh plays a major role in the palm oil industry as the nation is one of the largest consumers and importers of palm oil in the world. Palm oil is widely used in every household, food-processing industries and hotels across Bangladesh. Most of the Bangladeshi dishes that we are familiar with such as Biryani, Khichuri, and others use palm oil because its quality influences the flavour and the stability of the food.” He underscored the commitments of key palm oil producing countries to supply sustainable palm oil have been proven with the enactment of the following sustainability schemes- Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO).

AKM Fakhrul Alam of MPOC who delivered the key-note presentation noted that Bangladesh is playing an important role in the international edible oil market. “Bangladesh is mostly dependent on the imports of palm oil with increase in the consumption of oils and fats as to cope up with these demands imports eventually increases.” However, from 2019, a slight decline is observed in the imports of palm oil due to the pandemic, he highlighted. “Yet, palm oil is still the leading vegetable oil in the consumption patterns of Bangladesh as according to the statistics, from 2015-19 there is a visible growth in the consumption of palm oil,” Alam claimed.

He also mentioned the issues and challenges faced by the palm oil industry in the country including image/perception issues. “We need to increase putting efforts for addressing negative perception around the commodity through effective media campaigns and proper social media presence,” Alam urged. “There are limited brands in the palm oil market due to which palm oil is not visible enough in the market for people to buy it. Along with this, we also need to have a strong lobby for palm oil and collective efforts should be made to change the general perception.”

Dr. Puspo Giriwono of SEAFAST highlighted the demands and benefits of palm oil for the Bangladesh market. He said, “Palm oil is the most productive vegetable oil in terms of land consumption as it takes less land for its cultivation as compared to other edible oils such as soyabean oil. Hence, palm oil is one of the best oils when it comes to feeding a larger population.”

 

While discussing the nutritional contents of palm oil, Dr Puspo said, “Palm oil has an equal balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.” Palm oil also is rich in vitamin E and according to the various clinical studies, the strong antioxidants present in palm oil helps in combating stress and DNA damage. He added that palm oil with rich vitamin A content has been contributing to combat vitamin A deficiencies in many countries.

Faisal Mahmud of BEOL in his address agreed with Fakhrul Alam and expressed the key driver for serving the increasing demands of palm oil is ‘communication’. “There is still a necessity of further communication efforts being out by palm oil marketers in Bangladesh.”

 

“With sustained communication efforts, we can collectively solve the issues being faced in the palm oil industry and explain the goodness of palm oil to the consumers to increase the acceptance of palm oil. Successful contributions have been made by the Bangladesh market to correct the image of palm oil,” he added.

In the concluding remarks, Dupito D. Simamora, Deputy ED of CPOPC referred to the speakers’ thoughts and the key concerns need to be addressed by all. Producing and consuming countries need to ensure that all vegetable oils are sustainable and to address the unfair policies and to continue fostering collaborations between consuming and producing countries. “For the awareness and image issues of palm oil, it is perhaps time to be offensive rather than being defensive.”

About Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC):

Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) is an intergovernmental organization for palm oil producing countries. Established in 2015, Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s biggest palm oil producers, are the founding countries of the Council as well as the current full members. The Council is now inviting other palm oil producing countries from Africa, Central America and Asia-Pacific. It seeks to unite world’s palm oil producers and furthermore, represents the priorities, interests, and aspirations of the palm oil nations as developing world.

 

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