Palm oil giant Indonesia has approved France’s food safety system for grains, fruit and vegetables in a move that should unblock stalled exports which some traders said was a retaliation against a proposed French tax on palm oil, according to a Reuters report on 25 January.

In a note posted on its website, FranceAgriMer (the National Institute of Agriculture and Sea Products) said Indonesian authorities had formally given their approval to the French food safety system for plant production.

Reuters said Indonesia had adopted a new food safety law last year under which all grain, fruit and vegetable had to be tested by special laboratories before being exported into the country.

France had asked that its own testing systems be recognised under the new legislation. In the meantime, all exports from France were halted, including wheat shipments.

Exporters had blamed Indonesia for hindering shipments in retaliation against a proposed French tax on palm oil (see News, OFI June 2016).

However, this was denied by an Indonesian farm ministry official.