PUTRAJAYA: The government is seeking collective support from oil palm planters, millers, refiners and other downstream business owners to mandate the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification.
“The MSPO certification is currently voluntary and the way forward is to make it mandatory,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
“I know making MSPO mandatory is tough and can be very costly for smallholders. The government assures the implementation of MSPO will be practical,” the minister said.
There are some 500,000 smallholders in Malaysia and Mah acknowledged getting all of them MSPO-certified is tough but necessary for the long-term prospects of the industry.
“Some planters have five acres, others have 10 acres under oil palm cultivation. We are looking at grouping them in clusters and having them certified collectively," he said.
“We shall work on getting the MSPO to gain international acceptance as the brand confirms palm oil is being produced on a balanced need of People, Profit and Planet.
“We shall also promote premium pricing for the value add that goes into this nationally certified palm oil,” he told reporters after opening an MSPO stakeholders meeting here today.
He explained the MSPO is essentially a reflection of an unified code of laws concerning best practices throughout the supply chain, from oil palm planting to palm oil processing.
It was first modelled in line with the principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that promotes freer movement of goods and services.
The objective of the MSPO is to facilitate better palm oil market access through multilateral or bilateral free trade agreements with buyers.