• Syant Alias

Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) Forum: The Way Forward

KUALA LUMPUR: On 13 November 2017, the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) orgnaised the inaugural forum entitled “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (CSPO): The Way Forward”, in conjunction with the International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition 2017 (PIPOC 2017) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

The half-day event was attended by some 350 participants not only from Malaysia, but also from Mexico, Singapore, Germany, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia. The Forum was designed to discuss the recent developments in the implementation of mandatory national sustainability certification for the Malaysian palm oil sector dubbed MSPO Certification Scheme. Discussions were focus on certified sustainable palm oil and certification schemes, adopting national certification standards in the local and global context, addressing emerging challenges, and exploring opportunities to further strengthen the palm oil sector. Key opinion leaders were present to deliver presentations on:

  • Latest developments on how the industry is adopting emerging national standards and their market implications

  • NGO perspective on sustainability certification schemes

  • Potential collaboration between sustainability certification systems

  • Experiences from the field on auditing entities for sustainability certification

Meanwhile, the Forum has a total of 5 paper presentations namely, ‘How Industry is Adopting to Emerging National Standards’ by Tang Men Kon from Sime Darby Plantation, ‘Smallholder Certification: Preparedness, Pitfalls, Prices and Pay-Offs’ by Sheila Senathirajah from Wild Asia, ‘Perspective on the MSPO Certification Scheme’ by Benjamin Loh from WWF Malaysia, ‘Auditing Entities for Sustainability Certification: Experience of a Certification Bodies’ by Ruzita Abd Gani from SIRIM QAS International and ´Collaboration & Cooperation Between Sustainability Certification Systems’ by Andreas Feige from ISCC SYSTEM GMBH.

A total of 8 panelists representing MPOCC, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), WWF Malaysia, National Association of Smallholders (NASH), International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) SYSTEM GMBH, Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Felda Global Ventures (FGV) were present during the Panel Discussion session.

The panelist contributed ideas on MSPO on three thematic areas; benchmarking MSPO as an international standard, meeting the challenge of mandatory MSPO by 31 December 2019 and ideas on supporting smallholders to achieve MSPO certification.

The CSPO Forum was one of the MPOCC continual effort to create awareness and promote the uptake of MSPO certification scheme among the palm oil industry. The CSPO Forum will be an annual event for MPOCC which will create a platform for various stakeholders of the palm oil industry to share knowledge and experiences in implementing sustainability certification. MPOCC hoped that this event will be useful for the adoption of MSPO by the palm oil industry and implementation of MSPO thus will further enhance the image of the Malaysian palm oil industry, improve competitiveness, and form the basis for the branding of Malaysian palm oil.