MSPO being revised to meet global sustainability standards


MALAYSIAN Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is working on strategies to be implemented across the five thrusts over the National Agricommodity Policy 2021-2030 (DAKN 2030) policy period from 2021-2030.

“MPOB’s strategies in line with DAKN 2030’s five core thrusts — sustainability, productivity, value generation, market development and inclusivity — will accelerate growth of the palm oil sector,” MPOB DG Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir (picture) said in a statement yesterday.

In the area of sustainability, he said MPOB is strengthening the measures and mechanisms, including the nationwide implementation and standards of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme to oil palm growers, including smallholders, to ensure good practices are consistently implemented along the whole supply chain.

He said the MSPO standards are being revised, and there are more stringent principles and criteria aligned with global sustainability standards, and traceability requirements are being developed in consultation with stakeholders.

MPOB also assists smallholders in adopting good agricultural practices such as optimal fertiliser application, effective pest and disease control, harvesting practices and field management to achieve maximum yields.

“MPOB will provide training for them through extension services, in collaboration with plantation companies where feasible, and will be further enhanced by guidance and audit through the MSPO certification process.”

As of Feb 28, 2022, about 95% of all oil palm planted area has been MSPO-certified. According to him, smallholders will also be assisted to carry out their replanting, while plantations are encouraged to optimise their replanting programmes with high-yielding planting materials that have been commercialised to maximise profits in the long run.

Ahmad Parveez further said MPOB is enhancing efforts to increase labour productivity in the upstream segment, whereby research has been intensified to automate and mechanise field operations through joint public and private sector research.

For the midstream segment, he said, MPOB focuses on technologies to automate plant-wide processing, quality control at the mills and refineries, as well as fresh fruit bunch (FFB) grading and trash removal processes at the mills. This will be supported by technical assistance where necessary and certification process to assist lagging mills in upgrading their operations and efficiency.

He said MPOB’s downstream activities, among others, see research direction and strategies focusing on high-value functional and performance foods and non-foods, such as tocotrienols, feed, oleo and fuel products including biodiesel.

“We are producing novel high-quality products which suit the local climatic conditions and culinary preferences of importing countries, while providing cost and nutritional advantages,” Ahmad Parveez added.

“Potential food products include liquid cooking oils and solid fats, as well as high-value food ingredients such as cocoa butter replacers, substitutes and extenders for chocolates, bakery and confectionery fats, butter oil and milk fat substitutes, while non-food include oleo and fuel products,” he said.