KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 1): The news that medium-sized oil palm producers in Sabah will soon adopt sustainable practices under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification standards is a huge step in the right direction, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said.
It said both certification standards help address deforestation and promote sustainability, and require oil palm plantations to preserve riparian reserves, avoid development on steep slopes and prevent encroachment on protected areas.
“The announcement of mid-sized oil palm growers coming together to help address deforestation and promote sustainability in Sabah is a step which we wholeheartedly support.
“As an industry, we are fully committed to addressing the issue of deforestation and like World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Malaysia, we strongly believe that good agricultural practices are necessary to ensure sustainability of the oil palm sector,” it said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 1).
MPOC said bringing smaller producers into the certification process is a huge step in the right direction because smaller producers are an integral part of the palm oil industry, but they risk being excluded from the certification process due to the costs involved.
It said the group certification model is a great way to bring smaller growers together, as it allows each individual group member to benefit from the economies of scale by being part of a larger group.
“We hope to see more small-scale producers joining the certification process in years to come,” it added.