Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, announced a Government-endorsed initiative to brand responsibly produced Malaysian palm oil.
Malaysian palm oil producers are already required under Malaysian law to produce sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and high quality palm oil.
Branding of this by the government will guarantee these attributes to consumers and global manufacturers, differentiating Malaysian palm oil from other palm oil sources.
Palm oil that is branded as compliant will enable producers to provide manufacturers and retailers with a means to demonstrate that their procurement of palm oil from Malaysian complies with strict environmental and social requirements.
In order to bear the Malaysian brand, palm oil will need to be produced in line with all Malaysian Government laws and regulations, as well as complying with overarching principles to respect a triple bottom line that seeks to benefit ‘People, Planet and Profit’.
The new initiative promises Malaysian growers the opportunity to demonstrate that their product is responsibly produced; and a distinct label that will add value to the national product.
Currently certification systems exist for palm oil growers and producers but they are either not applicable, or affordable for the majority of Malaysian growers. Many Malaysian growers are also small farmers who cannot afford the high cost of individual or group certification required by these systems.
Furthermore, existing private certification systems are not receiving recognition from consumers according to a report in The Grocer out of the United Kingdom. It is important that the Malaysian palm oil industry have access to a viable system that allows them to demonstrate it is produced in a responsible manner.