MSPO incentives now extended to all oil palm planters

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will part-fund audit fees for mid-sized oil palm estates, so as to be Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certified by 2019.

“The government shall partially-fund MSPO audit fees for medium and big-sized oil palm estates, so that, as a country, our planters can collectively meet the brand promise of MSPO certification,” said Plantations Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

The MSPO is essentially a reflection of an unified code of laws concerning best practices throughout the supply chain, from oil palm planting to palm oil processing.

When one is MSPO-certified, it confirms oil palm cultivation is being carried out on a balanced needs of people, profits and planet.

“MPOB will fund 70 per cent of MSPO audit cost for estates measuring between 40.46ha to 1,000ha while those of a bigger size above 1,001ha, the incentive covers 30 per cent of the audit cost,” he said in a statement here today.

The minister had earlier chaired a stakeholders' meeting with 120 oil palm estate owners here.

Also present were Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur and the ministry's secretary general Datuk K. Yogeesvaran.

“For downstream operations including mills, refineries and crushers, MPOB has agreed to fund 30 per cent of the MSPO audit cost,” he said.

As at end August 2017, Mah said 245,381ha of oil palm estates and 22 mills are already MSPO-certified.

Mah reiterated that getting all oil palm planters in Malaysia MSPO-certified is tough but necessary for the long-term prospects of the industry.

“We are working hard getting the MSPO gain international acceptance as the brand confirms palm oil is being produced on a balanced need of People, Profit and Planet,” he said.

He said the government-driven MSPO is key to the Amsterdam Declaration that requires all palm oil shipped into Europe to be certified as sustainably produced, by 2020.

Ultimately, the MSPO is to facilitate better palm oil market access through multilateral or bilateral free trade agreements with buyers, he added.