Malaysia develops global standard to boost palm oil exports

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Palm oil1Malaysia is creating a new global standard for its palm oil to ensure quality and address concerns of non-government organisations (NGOs) about the industry.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said they were in the final stages of drawing up the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification to improve standards and the image of locally produced palm oil products, The Star reported.

Douglas said MSPO certification takes into account 60 local laws, including environment and wildlife legislation along with state enactments. Citing open burning to clear palm oil plantations, which is totally prohibited by the Department of Environment in the peninsular while allowed but regulated in Sarawak, he said it was an example of local rules that were already in place.

Douglas said many foreign NGOs insist markets only buy palm oil which meets standards set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) but their criteria is too expensive, especially for Malaysian smallholders.He said the MSPO will include best agriculture practices and will ensure smallholders will not be at a disadvantage.

“We want to help and bring them to the mainstream; so whatever system is imposed should not burden them,” he said.

At the same time, he added, the MSPO will address the impact of the industry on Orang Asli communities, deforestation, lost of biodiversity and the impact on wildlife including the orangutan.He said the government shared the same concerns as the NGOs.

He said Malaysia already has its own international standards for the timber industry and there is no reason why the MSPO should not be internationally accepted, adding that the certification would be brought to the cabinet for approval within the year before a decision is made on whether it will be made mandatory or voluntary.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia is creating a new global standard for its palm oil to ensure quality and address concerns of non-government organisations (NGOs) about the industry.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Palm oil1Malaysia is creating a new global standard for its palm oil to ensure quality and address concerns of non-government organisations (NGOs) about the industry.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said they were in the final stages of drawing up the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification to improve standards and the image of locally produced palm oil products, The Star reported.

Douglas said MSPO certification takes into account 60 local laws, including environment and wildlife legislation along with state enactments. Citing open burning to clear palm oil plantations, which is totally prohibited by the Department of Environment in the peninsular while allowed but regulated in Sarawak, he said it was an example of local rules that were already in place.

Douglas said many foreign NGOs insist markets only buy palm oil which meets standards set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) but their criteria is too expensive, especially for Malaysian smallholders.He said the MSPO will include best agriculture practices and will ensure smallholders will not be at a disadvantage.

“We want to help and bring them to the mainstream; so whatever system is imposed should not burden them,” he said.

At the same time, he added, the MSPO will address the impact of the industry on Orang Asli communities, deforestation, lost of biodiversity and the impact on wildlife including the orangutan.He said the government shared the same concerns as the NGOs.

He said Malaysia already has its own international standards for the timber industry and there is no reason why the MSPO should not be internationally accepted, adding that the certification would be brought to the cabinet for approval within the year before a decision is made on whether it will be made mandatory or voluntary.

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