Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong receives courtesy call from EU Ambassador and head of delegation to Malaysia Maria Castillo Fernandez in Putrajaya recently

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) is the answer to the European Union (EU) wanting all palm oil shipped into Europe to be certified as sustainably produced by 2020.

“The EU must reflect on its commitment to work with Malaysia by giving due recognition to the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard,” said Plantations Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

“The European Commission acknowledged that palm oil plays an important role in Malaysia’s economy, and it contributes directly and indirectly to lifting many smallholders out of poverty,” he said in a statement today.

Mah said MSPO is the national standard that will pave the future of sustainable palm oil exports to Europe. It will be made mandatory for the whole value chain of Malaysia’s palm oil industry.

The MSPO is essentially a reflection of a unified code of laws concerning best practices throughout the supply chain, from oil palm planting to palm oil processing.

When an estate, mill or refinery is MSPO-certified, it confirms oil palm cultivation and palm oil production is being carried out on a balanced needs of People, Profits and Planet.

Mah said Malaysia has world-leading sustainable palm oil practices, and attempts by the EU’s Environment Committee (ENVI) to suggest otherwise are unacceptable.

All these while palm biofuel exporters from Malaysia have been certified as sustainable by leading European sustainability schemes, including the German ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). This has been recognised by the European Commission.

Mah said he and his team has held regular engagements with key stakeholders from the European Parliament followingg the EU's resolution on palm oil and deforestation of rainforest.

While the resolution adopted on 4th April 2017 is non-binding in nature, Malaysia is disappointed the proposals are being enacted by the Commission through the formal, binding, EU regulatory process.

Mah said such discriminatory and defamatory actions against the palm oil industry that forms the backbone of Malaysia’s agricultural exports, will not be tolerated.

"Malaysia is committed to protecting the rights of 650,000 small farmers here. We must continue to secure the future of the palm oil sector that has lifted millions of people out of poverty to bridge the urban-rural income gap," he added.

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