It is time for Malaysia to discover more new uses of palm oil to create more demand for the commodity, in an effort to stabilise the crude palm oil prices, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
Thus, she hopes the ministry would be allotted a bigger allocation in the upcoming Budget 2020 for the purpose.
“We are hoping more funds would be allocated to do research, particularly in bio jet fuel as well as medical and health products, “she told reporters after unveiling the new look of Alif cooking oil brand.
She also hoped the implementation of the B20 biodiesel fuel next year would proceed smoothly as this would help drive the palm oil prices higher.
Earlier, in her speech, Kok said palm oil was constantly facing various challenges and linked to issue of deforestation, loss of biodiversity and even labelled as unhealthy.
“Such negativity has led to rising in anti-palm oil sentiment, and it has gradually affected our local consumers' perception as well.
“In realising the significance of the industry, it is necessary to rally Malaysians to understand the benefits of the oil as, its contribution to the nation and to continue supporting the local industry,” she said.
Apart from boosting the local demand, Malaysians must stand together to support and defend the industry, she said.
Kok also reiterated that the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification could also help in pushing local palm oil prices higher as it had been receiving international recognition, among them were Japan which will host Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year.
Locally, she said the certification has become more important as consumers in all industries are becoming more sophisticated and discerning.
“The millennial, who would become the next generation of consumers with purchasing power, is said to favour brands that produce sustainable products.
“Hence, the way forward for most consumer brand companies is to ensure that customers are well informed about the sustainability efforts that companies undertake to produce their products,” she added.