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MSPO certification: M’sia to collaborate with European experts


21st November, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is willing to collaborate with European experts to raise the benchmark for Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification to ensure it will be accredited and accepted as a certification system in Europe.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the Malaysian government was committed to ensuring the successful participation of all stakeholders in the MSPO certification mandate, including providing full financial aid to more than 650,000 independent smallholders.

The independent smallholders accounted for 40 per cent of the country’s oil palm cultivated area.

“As the eyes and ears of their nations in Malaysia, Ambassadors from the European Union (EU) countries are urged to convey the correct perspectives about Malaysian palm oil to their EU counterparts, particularly by highlighting Malaysia’s mandatory certified sustainable palm oil production by end-2019,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Last Friday, Mah convened a special dialogue session with 18 European Ambassadors led by the EU Ambassador and Head of the Diplomatic Delegation in Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fernandez.

The closed-door meeting was a follow-up on the previous briefing by Mah to the European Ambassadors three months ago, primarily focused on matters regarding EU Parliamentary Resolution to link palm oil and deforestation. Fernandez said the EU resolution is now being worked up through the European Commissioners and the European Council before possible legislative measures are proposed.

She described the openness demonstrated by the Malaysian government as highly relevant and invaluable as the EU officials are at the phase of consultation with different stakeholders from palm oil producing countries.

Mah also stressed that the current palm oil debate had drawn serious concerns from the top officials of palm oil producing countries, including the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

With regards to the recent recommendation by European Environmental Committee to exclude palm oil use from Renewable Energy Directive (RED) as early as 2021, Mah described the recommendation as discriminatory, unacceptable and noncompliance with the World Trade Organisation principles as other oils and fats could still be used for biofuels under RED until 2029.

From January to August 2017, the EU nations remain as the main export destinations of Malaysian palm oil and palm based products valued collectively at RM7.5 billion, compared with RM6.3 billion in the same period in 2016. –Bernama

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