Kuching: The Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) held the Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) Forum: The Way Forward, Sarawak on 27 January 2018 at The Waterfront Hotel in Kuching. The CSPO Forum Sarawak is a continued effort by MPOCC to hold the event regionally after the successful holding of the inaugural CSPO Forum at KLCC recently in November 2017 in conjunction with the MPOB International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2017. The half-day forum attracted more than 300 participants made up largely of oil palm smallholders and plantation owners. The discussions evolved around the recent developments in the implementation of mandatory sustainability certification for the palm oil sector under the MSPO Certification Scheme, with particular reference to Sarawak.
Sarawak has the second largest oil palm planted area in Malaysia, and produced 4.1 million tonnes of crude palm oil in 2017. “The MSPO certification process demonstrates Malaysia’s commitment towards the production of certified sustainable palm oil”, said the Assistant Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Sarawak, Mr. Roland Sagah when delivering his keynote address at the opening of the Forum.
Four presentations were made at the Forum by MPOCC, the Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (SOPPOA), SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. and WWF-Malaysia, followed by a panel discussion during which the panelists discussed matters relating to issues and challenges in implementing the MSPO Certification Scheme, the perspective of NGOs in supporting good agriculture practices, and shared field auditing experiences.
By the end of 2017, the total MSPO certified planted area has increased significantly, from 221,322 ha at the end of 2016 to 518,794 ha by December 2017, an increase of 135%. Furthermore, the total number of MSPO certified mills has increased from 21 mills in 2016 to 50 mills by the end of December 2017.