Johari wants MSPO alongside Halal cert as requirement for marketing palm oil

KUALA LUMPUR: The Plantations and Commodities Ministry will discuss with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to include Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification alongside Halal certification as a requirement for marketing palm oil.

This, according to its minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, is due to the fact that Halal is a globally recognised and authoritative certification in Malaysia.

"Through MSPO, it encompasses the environment and where they can find out how the palm oil process goes until it is bottled.

"It also covers the condition of the palm oil plantation, the management of the plantation, the use of very high standards and whatever chemicals are used are safe for the product to be produced."

Hence, Johari said, the MSPO could prove to consumers that the product was not only assuredly clean, but also of high quality and safety.

He said previously, palm oil sold in the country had to be Halal-certified, irrespective of brand, and wanted MSPO to be included in the certification requirements.

"That's why if possible, we want to impose conditions on palm oil products that are marketed in the country to have an MSPO certification before they can be distributed here.

"Ideally, palm oil products sold in all stores and supermarkets in our country must have the MSPO certification," he told reporters after launching Saji's new cooking oil label with the MSPO logo and signing of a strategic collaboration between MSPO and FGV Holdings Bhd.

The MSPO certification is Malaysia's national certification standard and was developed with input from stakeholders in the palm oil industry.

The certification, first launched in November 2013, was officially implemented on a voluntary basis in January 2015 with improvements throughout the year.

Recently, the certification was revised last year with stricter standards, including a deforestation deadline of Dec 31, 2019, which meets the deadline of the European Union (EU) Deforestation Regulation.

Other revisions included the identification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their reduction monitoring plans, the introduction of new guidance on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and the protection of human rights defenders and whistleblowers.

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