Malaysia-UK research collaboration to advance palm oil industry – MPOC

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is confident that collaboration between United Kingdom (UK) research institutions and Malaysian producers would bolster sustainability and drive industry advancements in the palm oil industry.

The move comes as the UK prepares to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) that will be finalised at the upcoming CPTPP Ministerial Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, next month, presenting new trade opportunities and fostering closer ties between the two nations.

The MPOC said in its recent Market Highlights report that in recognising Malaysia’s position as a major global player in sustainable palm oil, UK research institutions should explore enhancing the industry’s sustainability practices and industry advancements.

“Examples of such cooperation are yield improvement, by-product generation, and other critical aspects.

“By pooling expertise and resources, such collaborations aim to further strengthen Malaysia’s position as a leader in sustainable palm oil production and drive economic development in the country,” it said.

MPOC also said palm oil is renowned for being the most cost-effective and environmentally beneficial vegetable oil, boasting high productivity per hectare compared to other alternatives.

“By fostering closer relations within the CPTPP, the collaboration between UK research institutions and Malaysian producers can unlock new opportunities for enhancing the industry’s sustainability practices.

“This includes implementing advanced techniques to minimise the environmental impact of palm oil production,” it said.

Furthermore, MPOC opined that the partnership would address existing challenges related to traceability in complex derivative and by-product supply chains, particularly in sectors such as home and personal care and animal feed.

“By pursuing partnerships with palm oil-producing countries like Malaysia, the UK aims to enhance traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain, thereby strengthening the overall sustainability standards of global palm oil production,” it said.

The UK has already made significant progress in sourcing sustainable palm and palm kernel oil, with the proportion of imports classified as “certified sustainable” increasing from 16 per cent in 2010 to an impressive 72 per cent in 2021.

“However, there is room for improvement, particularly in the areas of complex derivative supply chains. By collaborating with Malaysian producers, the UK seeks to overcome these challenges and ensure sustainability standards are met throughout the palm oil supply chain.

“With knowledge sharing, technological advancements, and best practices, both nations can aim to establish more sustainable and environmentally friendly palm oil production methods,” MPOC said.

It noted that these collaborations align with Malaysia’s ambition to integrate regional and global value chains, further solidifying its position as a preferred investment and manufacturing hub.

“As Malaysia looks beyond the CPTPP and envisions broader trade agreements with key partners such as the European Union, collaborations like these will play a crucial role in addressing sustainability concerns and reducing trade barriers,” MPOC added. — BERNAMA