BRUSSELS – The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme will be reviewed next year to strengthen, streamline and benchmark it with globally accepted standards, says Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) Chairman Datuk M. Nagarajan.
“We started MSPO in 2015, since then, there has been a number of new developments, such as the greenhouse gas emission, haze and fire as well carbon saving,” he said.
“All the new developments will be factored in the review,” he told Malaysian journalists on the sidelines of the European Palm Oil Conference on Thursday.
Plantation companies that are already Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified must obtain MSPO certification by Dec 2018 while companies without RSPO certification will be given more time to obtain the certification, which is by June 30, 2019.
Independent and organised smallholders will be given the longest grace period of up to Dec 31, 2019 to obtain certification.
To accelerate the uptake of MSPO certification, US$35 million would be provided by the government as incentives to facilitate MSPO certification. These incentives are extended to plantations, smallholders and processing facilities.
With the MSPO certification, harvesting and shipping would be traceable, giving importers and consumers the assurance that the oil is authentic, sustainably produced and non-Genetically Modified Organisms.
So, the MSPO is not the only one (to be reviewed), he said, pointing out the fact that even the RSPO certification, which was started 14 years ago, was still undergoing an evolving process.
“What more MSPO, it’s just five-years old. The industry has subscribed to the laws of the country. It is a matter of upgrading to meet international requirements,” he explained.
Asked if MSPO would go through an annual review, Nagarajan said, usually standards go through reviews every five years.
“Sometimes standards are reviewed to put in new developments and in the last five years there has been new developments in terms of climate change.
“Such developments warrant a review,” he said, reiterating that the certification was a journey that evolved over the years and was not something that can be done overnight.