The government has requested all palm oil repackers to include two logos on their packaging as part of a campaign to counter efforts to boycott palm oil products in Europe.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok wants them to use the “Sayangi Sawitku” or “Love MY Palm Oil” logo and the “Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil” (MSPO) logo.
She hoped including these logos on the packaging of cooking oil containing palm oil would help educate consumers and encourage greater appreciation of Malaysian palm oil.
“What people don’t know is how close we are to palm oil; that even in our cosmetic products there are palm oil contents. The shampoo I use has palm oil.
“So there are two things I want to request repackers to do today, that is to include the two logos on the cooking oil packaging (bottle or others) so that when a consumer buys the product, they will be aware of the goodness of palm oil.”
She hoped that by June 1, all packaging of palm oil sustainable cooking oil will include the MSPO logo.
“We must prove to the European Union that we are serious in producing sustainable palm oil,” she said during a session with palm oil repackers at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) headquarters today.
In January, Putrajaya announced a year-long “Love MY Palm Oil” or “Sayangi Sawitku” campaign to fight anti-palm oil campaigns that are threatening the people’s livelihood.
Kok then said the campaign’s objective was to instil national pride and greater appreciation of Malaysian palm oil, focusing on its socio-economic importance, health, nutrition, and food and non-food applications.
However there were requests from repackers to delay the deadline for the new packaging, sighting restrictions contained in the guidelines of the labelling of food under the Food Act 1983.
Meanwhile, a member of the audience, during a question and answer session today, said it would take more than three months to produce new packaging.
“We have yet to receive any instructions, all we have heard is ‘hearsay’. We hope that the government will look into this,” he said.
He added that there were also restrictions on labelling which included the removal of “cholesterol-free” and “containing Vitamin E” from labels.
“How are we supposed to promote our products based on what you (Kok) have recommended if there are these restrictions?” he asked.