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Tuesday August 9, 2011

Palm oil board to play a role in certification scheme

PETALING JAYA: A draft on the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme is currently being formulated with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) earmarked as the main moderator, said an industry source.

He told StarBiz yesterday that MPOB was getting feedback from the palm oil fraternity after a directive from the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry.

“We heard Sirim Bhd will also be roped in for the MSPO certification scheme to make the scheme mandatory for all local oil palm planters.

“Everything is still at its preliminary stage but the Government is serious about introducing its national green palm oil certification scheme as an alternative to the current voluntary Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification,” said the source.

Last week, Plantation Industries and Commodities minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok was quoted as saying that Malaysia would have to come up with a national certification scheme.

The source pointed out that the local oil palm sector was heavily regulated by the MPOB, which has enforced over 60 laws spanning across 16 activities along the entire palm oil chain from upstream to downstream.

“This (national certification scheme) is an opportunity for Malaysia to tell the world that its oil palms are grown in a sustainable manner and do not involve the clearing of virgin forest.”

While Malaysia is still supportive of the RSPO's role and functions, the source said there were many loopholes in the RSPO voluntary certification which made it difficult for the palm oil consuming nations in the West to embrace the certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).

Meanwhile, the RSPO had in a recent report maintained that the CSPO had been on a steady rise since 2008.

The average uptake of its CSPO was 26% in 2009 and 56% in 2010.

In 2010, 7% of global palm oil production or 3.7 million tonnes consisted of CSPO.

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