20th March, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) is optimistic over 4,000 privately-owned oil palm estates in the country will be ready for Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification over the next couple of years.
“We are targeting these estates to prepare them for MSPO certification,” its Chief Executive Officer, Harnarinder Singh (pictured) told Bernama.
Recently, the government announced its proposal to make it mandatory for industry players, including smallholders, to obtain MSPO certification in stages by the end of 2019.
This move is to elevate oil palm plantations, including independent and organised smallholdings, and palm oil processing facilities, to meet sustainability standards in line with international requirements.
Harnarinder hopes that this will make the planters and other industry players committed towards MSPO certification.
As of February 2017, 245,315 hectares (ha) of oil palm planted areas, including 3,000ha by independent smallholders and 3,868ha by organised Felda smallholders, have been certified under the MSPO Certification Scheme.
In addition, 23 mills in Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak have already been certified under the MSPO scheme, he said.
Harnarinder pointed out that many large palm oil producing companies are interested and committed towards MSPO certification.
As MSPO certification covers all aspects of the supply chain in the industry, it is necessary for smallholders and plantation estates to work closely together to qualify and be certified, said Harnarinder.
“It is vital for Malaysian palm oil to be certified as this will enable the country’s product to be recognised and sold in overseas markets that demand certified palm oil for their consumers,” he said.
The MSPO Certification Scheme is the national scheme in Malaysia for sustainability certification of oil palm plantations, independent and organised smallholdings, and palm oil processing facilities.
On Feb 24, 2017, the government made a timeline proposal with regard to mandatory compliance of the MSPO certification in stages.
Oil palm entities with RSPO certification have to obtain MSPO certification by Dec 31, 2018, while all other plantations and entities have to be certified by June 30, 2019.
For independent and organised smallholders the timeline set is Dec 31, 2019.
Harnarinder said the MSPO certification is useful and it is an assurance to the buyers and consumers that the palm oil used in the product originated from well-managed planted areas.
“What we are doing now is, in collaboration with the oil palm industry’s associations, to conduct awareness and technical briefing sessions so that their members gain a good level of understanding of the requirements of the MSPO standards and certification procedures,” he said.
On challenges, Harnarinder said, MPOCC is currently taking efforts, such as creating awareness and organising programmes to garner acceptance and recognition of MSPO certification by consumers, particularly in Europe and in other key markets for Malaysian palm oil. –Bernama