Categories
The Oil Palm

Small Farmers

Malaysia’s small farmers are a robust and diverse group of individuals contributing to Malaysia’s national prosperity and cultural identity.  With almost 40 per cent of the oil palms cultivated by small farmers, Malaysia’s 300,000 + small farmers cultivating plantations between 4 and 40 hectares in size are instrumental in producing over 18 million tonnes of palm oil every year.

Malaysia’s small farmers are not the biggest players in the palm oil industry, and are consistently overlooked by non-governmental organizations in the wider international debate over palm oil. But come to Malaysia and the small farmer is not only applauded, but widely recognized for their importance not just to palm oil production but to creating a more prosperous and just society.  Further development of small farmer plantations is a key component of Malaysia’s effort to achieve high-income status by 2020, as indicated by the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme.

To learn more about the daily life of Malaysia’s small farmers, take a look at our video interviews with block leaders, plantation managers, small farmers and local small business owners to learn how palm oil has positively affected their lives and the lives of their families.

For further information, please visit our small farmer resource The Human Faces of Palm Oil.

Categories
The Oil Palm

Conservation Commitment

The palm oil industry adopts and implements sustainable and good agricultural practices, yet is has been accused of unsustainable practices including the destruction of rainforests and wildlife habitat, particularly the orang utan. These accusations driven by campaigns, primarily led by the European NGOs have resulted in misunderstanding among some traditional palm oil end users who have in turn taken drastic steps to reduce their palm oil usage in consumer products. The negative publicity perpetrated by the NGOs sometimes has led to calls to boycott palm based products in several European countries. These negative campaigns have similarly dented the use of palm oil as a renewable fuel requiring the need to prove that it is sustainably produced.

The Malaysian palm oil industry, backed by more than 90 years of responsible plantation practices on legally approved agricultural land in accord with legislations in the country, has similarly not been spared these accusations, despite numerous efforts to portray the correct efforts and information. The idea for the setting up of the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF) was therefore mooted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) in 2006 coinciding with the period when the Malaysian palm oil industry was facing one of its biggest challenges in the form of these negative campaigns.

Conservation

Malaysia has always benefitted from unprecedented environmental and natural wealth. Rainforests team with life that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, while millions of tourists throughout the year come to Malaysia to experience our natural bounty of wildlife and tropical beauty. In recognition of these assets, Malaysia has supported conservation and wildlife protection since its independence, establishing a network of regulations and laws to ensure the preservation of our natural endowment.

And with the palm oil industry, these conservation efforts are possible alongside strong economic growth and mutual prosperity. The oil palm’s superior efficiency allows for significant production on minimal land, contributing to Malaysia’s forest conservation commitment of 50 percent. But while Malaysia continues to preserve close to 56 percent of the nation’s forest cover, officials remain careful to ensure that development does not come at the expense of Malaysia’s environment. As a result, through collaboration with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, local communities and the government, environmental conservation remains a priority for all, and a key element in Malaysia’s quest for high-income status.

Industry Cares

The palm oil industry adopts and implements sustainable and good agricultural practices, yet is has been accused of unsustainable practices including the destruction of rainforests and wildlife habitat, particularly the orang-utan. These accusations driven by campaigns, primarily led by the European NGOs have resulted in misunderstanding among some traditional palm oil end users who have in turn taken drastic steps to reduce their palm oil usage in consumer products. The negative publicity perpetrated by the NGOs sometimes has led to calls to boycott palm based products in several European countries. These negative campaigns have similarly dented the use of palm oil as a renewable fuel requiring the need to prove that it is sustainably produced.

The Malaysian palm oil industry, backed by more than 90 years of responsible plantation practices on legally approved agricultural land in accord with legislation in the country, has similarly not been spared these accusations, despite numerous efforts to portray the correct efforts and information. The idea for the setting up of the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF) was therefore mooted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) in 2006 coinciding with the period when the Malaysian palm oil industry was facing one of its biggest challenges in the form of these negative campaigns.

Objectives

MPOWCF was thus launched with an initial funding of RM20 million of which RM10 million is a grant from the Malaysian government and the balance of RM10 million is provided by the palm oil industry. The fund is administered by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), which also has the overall responsibility to manage the various conservation projects funded through MPOWCF.

The MPOWCF serves the following purposes:

  • Helps to portray the good image of Malaysian palm oil by providing concrete assurances that its cultivation does not cause deforestation or loss of wildlife and their habitat through a focused conservation research program to be undertaken by experts from the academia, government agencies and NGOs.
  • Provides funds for studies on wildlife, biodiversity and environmental conservation while factoring the overall impact of the palm oil industry on these parameters.
Categories
The Oil Palm

What is it used for?

Palm fruit oil is consumed worldwide in more than 100 countries. In some parts of the world, palm fruit oil is often still consumed in its unrefined state, as an ingredient of traditional dishes, where it contributes its characteristic golden red color and unique flavor. However, to most users, palm oil is more familiar as a refined vegetable oil product purchased at their local store and incorporated into their everyday foods.

You may be surprised to learn that many of the foods you eat are made with palm oil. Baked goods. Instant noodles. Baby formula. Cake mixes. Breakfast bars. Potato chips. Crackers and other snacks. And restaurant foods such as French fries. Palm oil is abundant, and is increasingly recognized as having a role to play in a healthy balanced diet.

Of the oils and fats on the market, palm fruit oil serves well many of might best meet today’s consumers criteria. It is healthful, abundantly available, relatively inexpensive, and technically suitable for most food products. Perhaps this is why palm oil has become the largest internationally traded vegetable oil in the world proving its acceptance in the global market.

About 90 percent of palm oil currently goes into food and consumer goods applications and the remaining 10 percent goes into non-food applications.