Malaysia is on track to export MSPO (Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil to Europe by next year.
Malaysia Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) chief executive officer Chew Jit Seng said the MSPO certification scheme is important as it will allow the country's palm oil to enter the European market.
“European leaders have stated that only sustainably produced palm oil can be allowed under the Amsterdam Declaration and I tell then MSPO is Malaysia's answer.
“By 2020, palm oil shipments into Europe will be certified under MSPO and sustainably produced," Chew told the New Straits Times in an interview recently.
In the Amsterdam Declaration, EU member states namely Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom wanted to import only fully-sustainable palm oil from 2020.
The EU has also threatened that it will ban palm-based biodiesel imports into the continent unless the palm oil is sustainably produced according to the EU Delegated Act.
Chew said with the pressure on the oil palm industry to incorporate sustainability in its day to day business, it is imperative that Malaysia developed its own palm oil sustainability standards and regulations.
"MSPO is a very good branding for the country just like the mandatory ISPO (Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil), and voluntary RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification).
“We have to go all out to promote MSPO and efforts are on-going by the government especially by the Primary Industries Ministry," said Chew.
MSPO was officially launched at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2013.
Its objectives are aimed at reducing the industry’s social environmental impacts and to help the independent smallholders to be MSPO certified for the global market.
The MSPO certification scheme will assist the industry to comply with the international sustainability requirements which encompasses the whole supply chain from growers to processors and traders.
The oil palm industry in this country plays a vital role in the growth of the agricultural sector through its annual contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of around 4.5 per cent, significant foreign exchange earnings of about RM60 billion and gainful employment and business opportunities for more than a million people including at least 500,000 smallholders.
“With the government’s efforts to push for 100 percent MSPO certification, we are also moving towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030 – UNSDGs for sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth.
“Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet,” said Chew.
The full implementation of MSPO will create greater opportunities for all, help in reducing inequalities, raise basic standards of living, foster equitable social development and inclusion, and promote integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.