Malaysian sustainable palm oil to be exported to Europe

Malaysia is on track to export its Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) to Europe by 2020, allowing the country’s commodity to enter the European market.

“European leaders have stated that only sustainably produced palm oil can be allowed under the Amsterdam Declarations and I tell them that MSPO is Malaysia’s answer,” New Straits Times quoted Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council CEO Chew Jit Seng as saying on 17 September.

The Amsterdam Declaration on Deforestation and the Amsterdam Palm Oil Declaration supports private sector commitments to a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain by 2020. The non-legally binding declarations, launched in 2015, has been signed by Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.

Chew said that with pressure on the palm oil industry to incorporate sustainability, it was imperative for Malaysia to develop its own palm oil sustainability standards and regulations.

The MSPO certification scheme was launched in 2013, with the aim of reducing the industry’s social and environmental impacts, and helping independent smallholders become MSPO certified for the global market.

Chew said the government was pushing for 100% MSPO certification.

Malaysia’s oil palm industry played a vital role in the growth of the agricultural sector through its annual contribution to GDP of around 4.5%, significant foreign exchange earnings of around RM60bn (US$14.3bn) and employment of more than a million people, including at least 500,000 smallholders, he added.