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MPOC Showcases Malaysia’s Industry-Leading Sustainability Initiatives in The Palm Oil Sector to Visiting UK Stakeholders

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) hosted a visit for a group of palm oil stakeholders from the United Kingdom from 9 to 13 June 2024. The visit focussed on adding value to the Malaysian palm oil industry, allowing the UK delegation to explore and understand the sustainable practices and socio-economic contributions of Malaysian palm oil. The primary aim was to promote and build a greater understanding of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standards amongst the participants, comprising sustainability leads from UK-based companies.

MPOC, in collaboration with Wild Asia, led the delegation on visits to three smallholder plantations and the Genting Trushidup Oil Mill in Sandakan. The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary, underscoring Malaysia’s commitment to wildlife conservation. Additionally, they toured SD Guthrie’s Palm Oil Experience Centre in Carey Island and smallholder plantations under FELDA in Sungai Tengi Selatan, Kuala Kubu Bharu, providing a comprehensive view of both large-scale and smallholder palm oil operations.

The highlight of the visit was a dialogue session organised by MPOC on the final day. This session facilitated meaningful discussions between the UK delegation and local palm oil stakeholders, focusing on the traceability and social aspects of the MSPO standards.

In the first four months of 2024, the export of Malaysian palm oil and its derivatives registered an increase of 71.3% compared to the same period last year. Ms. Belvinder Sron, CEO of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), highlighted the UK as a highly promising market, noting that palm oil is among the most consumed oils and fats. In 2023, the UK imported 381,000 tonnes of palm oil, with Malaysia contributing 5% of these imports. Following the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), tariffs on Malaysian palm oil imports will be eliminated. As Malaysia is well-equipped to provide a competitively priced and secure supply of palm oil, this change is expected to benefit both the industry and consumers in the UK,

On industry engagement, Ms. Belvinder commented; “For Malaysia, we see the UK as a constructive partner in sustainability. Given the importance of sustainability, legality, and social responsibility in supply chains, we are enthusiastic about cooperating with both the UK and Malaysian stakeholders to improve sustainability practices related to deforestation, traceability, climate change, and human rights, particularly through the enhanced features of the MSPO 2.0.”

“MPOC will continue to serve the Malaysian palm oil industry with more such programmes in high-value markets, “she added.

The programme emphasised Malaysia’s proactive efforts to raise the sustainability bar and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Participants engaged with industry experts and discussed the MSPO certification scheme and other critical issues related to sustainability, social impact, and governance in the palm oil industry.

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