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    A worker unloads palm fruits at a palm oil processing plant in Lebak, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    French Farmers' Protest Against Palm Oil Imports Gaining Steam

    © AP Photo / Tatan Syuflana
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    The strikes have led to a further worsening of relations between the country's agricultural sector and President Emmanuel Macron's government.

    French farmers have reportedly blocked oil depots and refineries as part of a three-day protest campaign against palm oil imports, Reuters reported.

    The move came after the French energy giant Total decided to use a cheaper, imported palm oil at its biofuel plant.

    Farmers fear that the move could negatively affect the use of locally produced oilseed crops.

    According to Deutsche Welle, they are also worried about emerging competition, as local biofuel producers might want to go over to a cheaper palm oil from abroad instead of buying locally produced and more expensive rapeseed oil.

    All in all, 16 sites were blocked on Monday, according to France's largest farm union FNSEA.

    READ MORE: French Farmers See Red Over Plans to Release More Bears in Pyrenees

    The blockade has further worsened relations between the biggest agricultural sector of any EU country and the government of President Emmanuel Macron.

    According to FNSEA head Christiane Lambert, the protest is aimed at exerting pressure on French authorities over recent trade deals that would give a green light to imports of meat, sugar and ethanol from states "that do not respect the same conditions of production as French products."

    Total's initiative to import palm oil for its biofuel plant was just "the last straw," the representative added.


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