SIBU: Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB) wants to put a stop to the practice of pepper traders who adulterated their products to maximise profit.
Its chairman, Larry Sng in a Facebook posting said this illegal practice needed to be curbed as it was affecting the price and quality of the commodity.
“In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in the adulteration of pepper from traders who are seeking higher margins by mixing Sarawak pepper with lower grade foreign peppers. This has suppressed the price of Sarawak pepper and reduced the quality of our product, ” he said.
He said for MPB to be able to stop such illegal practices, the board had on Aug 15 decided to take on enforcement powers which would allow its officers to take action against traders who adulterate their products.
“As advised by the Attorney General’s office, MPB will be granted such powers if we relinquish our trading functions, ” he said.
The Julau MP said at the meeting, one of the matters discussed was the establishment of a committee for its newly-established subsidiary company to take over the trading activities.
“MPB’s trading function is unique. All the other boards under the Primary Industries Ministry like cocoa, oil palm, timber, kenaf and rubber, do not have the same trading functions under their respective organisations, ” he added.
He said starting next week, all future purchases and sale of pepper will be decided and operated by a new board, appointed by the ministry, and independent of MPB.