KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—More than 500 Malaysian smallholders, including natural rubber farmers, have signed a petition calling on the European Union to review its planned deforestation regulation, which they claim will result in them "being sentenced to poverty."
"The regulation's unilateral and unrealistic demands on traceability and geolocation will prevent small farmers from accessing the European market," said the March 15 petition, representing 2.5 million small farmers.
The petition was signed by six representative bodies within the sector, including the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA).
They also called on the EU to withdraw clauses of the regulation targeting non-European farmers and to exempt small farmers from the bill's requirements.
The EU's definition of small farmers should align with the "generally accepted defection of a small European farmer that encompasses any farm operating up to 10 hectares of land," the petition said.