PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has reiterated its commitment to practise the 3-P pillars of sustainable palm oil industry, namely, People, Planet and Profit, to overcome various challenges in the global market, including the European Union (EU) Parliament's resolution on palm oil and deforestation.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Malaysia's sustainability initiatives were based on the principles and criteria of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO).
He said the Government has mandated for MSPO certification throughout the Malaysia palm oil supply chain and promised to supply 100% MSPO-certified palm oil by end-December 2019.
"In ensuring the successful implementation of this sustainability scheme, the Government has set up the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council," he said at the 37th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme in Putrajaya on Monday.
The text of his speech was read by his deputy Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur.
Besides the EU Parliament resolution, Mah said, palm oil also faced the discriminatory labelling such as the 'No Palm Oil', which was initiated by food firms in France and Belgium and now spread to Italy and Turkey.
He said Malaysia strongly believed that the key to sustaining the industry was to overcome the challenges and obstacles through credible data from scientific research.
He said that through the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), extensive research on palm oil nutrition with international centres of excellence had been carried out.
"I am proud to say that these studies have shown that plam oil is a superior oil.
"Palm oil has a unique configuration in its fat molecule where the most absorbed fatty acids are the unsaturated fatty acids and for this reason, the effect on blood lipid profile is almost similar to olive oil," he said.
Mah said Malaysia would continue to expand the palm oil market worldwide by introducing new palm-based products through the MPOB regional office in the US, Belgium, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Iran and China.
In 2016, he said, palm oil and palm oil products contributed RM67.58 billion to the country's export earnings and over two million jobs in all sectors of the industry, including 650,000 smallholders. - Bernama