Oil palm stakeholders should work collectively towards sustaining prosperity – Fadillah

Stakeholders in the oil palm industry must work collectively towards sustaining the prosperity of the critical facets of the industry, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

He said the industry players must acknowledge the challenges of navigating the global agricultural landscape.

“It is important to emphasise that removing palm oil from the global food supply would have devastating consequences for our industry and the world at large,” he said in his speech at the Malaysian Palm Oil Association’s (MPOA) National Palm Oil Conference (NPOC 2023) which commenced today.

He said over the years, Malaysia’s oil palm industry has played a transformative role in establishing the country as a global leader in the edible oil markets while bolstering the national economy.

This sector, he said, stands as a resilient socio-economic pillar, significantly contributing to rural development.

It has consistently provided employment opportunities, stimulated spin-off industries and bolstered foreign exchange earnings, while the entire supply chain contributed substantial tax revenues, the minister said.

As of December 2022, oil palm planted in Malaysia stands at 5.67 million hectares, and the yield accounts for approximately 18 per cent of the world’s exports of edible oils and fats.

“I want to emphasise that the industry’s sustained growth and competitiveness — even in the face of social and environmental concerns — has been laudable. Our country remains committed to confronting discriminatory trade practices aimed at undermining this essential agricultural commodity.

“As such, we will continue our efforts to engage with the European Union and other stakeholders following the implementation of the European Union Deforestation Regulation to protect our industry,” he added.

Themed “Palm Progress: Future-proofing competitiveness and sustainability”, the NPOC 2023 is organised by the MPOA.

During the event, the MPOA unveiled the MPOA Responsible Recruitment Guideline on the recruitment of foreign workers.

The guideline is an integral component of the MPOA Responsible Employment Charter. — BERNAMA