The Government is still positive on the target to ensure that 5.85 million hectares of palm oil plantations nationwide achieve the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification by year-end, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (pic) said.
“Many companies are in the process of certification which takes several months. So far, only 30 per cent out of 5.85 million hectares of oil palm plantations in the country have been certified with MSPO. We are also seeking the cooperation of state governments for that purpose,” she said.
By ensuring that the Malaysian palm oil industry reaches the target of 100 per cent MSPO certification, she said it will send a strong message to the European Union (EU) and other countries about the government and industry players’ efforts in conserving and preserving forests, as well as commitment towards palm oil sustainability.
The prospect of the country’s palm oil industry is brighter after the appointment new members of the European Parliament following its next elections from May 23-26, Kok said, adding that she would meet the new members of the European Parliament and European Council in October to promote the country’s palm oil.
“I will travel again to meet the new members of European Parliament and the new European Commissioner and share with them on Malaysia’s efforts towards sustainable production of palm oil and the MSPO certification, as well as the efforts in preserving our forests by the industry players.
“We hope we can convince the EU that there is no reason for them to phase out palm oil as biofuel feedstock as we did carry out our palm oil production in a sustainable manner,” she told reporters after meeting leaders of 11 chambers of commerce and trade associations in conjunction with the “Love My Palm Oil” campaign here.
Asked whether Malaysia still intends to register a complaint with the World Trade Organisation if the EU continues to discriminate palm oil, Kok said it is still in the plan but it should be discussed in detail with Indonesia, likely in July, as the republic had just concluded its election.
On the meeting with the chambers of commerce and trade associations, she said it was a platform to promote the country’s palm oil as the chambers and associations have trade relations with China.
“Every year the chambers of commerce and trade associations take part in over 30 exhibitions in China to promote Malaysian products. We are keen to join them to promote the country’s palm oil.
“We think China has a greater capacity to buy more palm oil from Malaysia and we are not doing enough work to exploit the Chinese market,” he said.