Only 36% of oil palm plantations MSPO certified, says Teresa Kok

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok says the government has promised the international community and buyers that Malaysia will achieve 100% certification on MSPO by the end of this year.

KUCHING: Difficulty in locating mid-sized oil palm plantation owners has resulted in the government’s failure to achieve a higher percentage of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification in the country, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said.

She said most of these owners were difficult to locate as they have engaged contractors to manage their plantations.

In 2017, the previous government had set a target to achieve 100% certification due to the Amsterdam declaration.

Under this declaration, seven European countries, namely Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, wanted only fully sustainable palm oil by 2020.

Speaking to reporters after a dialogue with Sarawak palm oil stakeholders here today, Kok said Putrajaya would maintain its decision to achieve the target set by the previous government.

“The government had promised the international community and buyers that we’ll achieve 100% certification on MSPO by the end of this year but as of May 31 this year, we have only managed to achieve 36% of the total 5.85 billion hectares planted with oil palm,” she said.

She said the government would pay for the certification and the offer would end on Dec 31 this year.

Therefore, she urged all oil palm growers to come forward to get their MSPO certification by the end of this year.

In 2013, the announcement regarding MSPO was made and oil palm companies were allowed to voluntarily seek certification.

However, until 2017, Kok said only half a million hectares of oil palm plantation had been certified.

“If we continue on a voluntary basis, people will not be serious and will refuse to come forward. That’s why we had to make it mandatory.

“The ministry is working very hard with the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) and Malaysian Palm Oil Board to educate oil palm plantation owners on the importance of getting MSPO certification in order to get better prices and access for palm oil products in the global market,” she said.