Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese Cofco Group to collaborate on several palm oil ventures.

The MoU included joint research into the health effects of palm oil, developing the capacity for value added products manufacture and establishing joint sales and marketing activities to promote them in China, reported Borneo Post on 22 August.

Sime Darby and Cofco aimed to create more demand for certified sustainable palm oil and increase trade volumes between the two companies.

The joint research efforts would focus on the health benefits of products such as palm tocotrienol, red palm olein and palm kernel oil, while both firms wanted to develop speciality products including premium shortening and bakery fats for the Chinese market.

Additionally, they agreed to explore possibilities to co-manufacture healthy oils and speciality fats in Malaysia.

Tan Srti Mohd Bakke Salleh, Sime Darby Plantation executive deputy chair and managing director, called China a key market for Malaysian palm oil.

“This MoU truly reflects our aspiration to be the leader in promoting the health benefits of palm oil and to produce certified sustainable, high value palm oil products for the global market,” said Mohd Bakke.