Final Revisions for Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification Standards
Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification will focus on sustainability requirements and practices.
The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification standards are wrapping up the final revision stage. As a national certification scheme for palm oil, MSPO will introduce new standards and criteria. These specifications feature sustainability requirements and procedures that all stakeholders need to observe. The new standards will be ready by the end of this year or by the first quarter of 2022.
Data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) shows that 5,279 million hectares of palm-oil planted areas have MSPO certification. This is out of the available 5.865 million hectares and is approximately 90% of the total estimate. Categories include palm oil estates as well as independent and organized smallholdings.
The MSPO has been mandatory since the beginning of 2020 and complies with both national and international standards. As such, it is equivalent to global standards such as the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification.
A New Standard for Palm Oil
The MSPO certification is the latest and most comprehensive national scheme for the palm oil industry. Its primary focus is to introduce a new set of standards for stakeholders in the palm oil sector. These include palm-oil processing facilities and plantations and independent and organized smallholdings related to the palm oil sector.
The scheme itself has three different standards as per the latest revisions. These requirements are directly related to stakeholders and industry players. These are MSPO 2530-3 (oil palm plantations and organized smallholders), MSPO 2530-2 (independent smallholders), and MSPO 2530-4 (palm oil mills).
Known as the ‘golden crop’, palm oil has wide industry usage and application. This ranges from the health and beauty industries (pharmaceuticals and cosmetics) to the food industry (processing and consumption). It is a staple ingredient in cooking oil, processed food, soaps, lipsticks, etc. Statistics for 2020 indicate usage well in the region of 73 million tonnes and is forecast to increase exponentially.
Traditionally, the West’s negative perception of palm oil is attributable to malignant anti-palm oil campaigns and Southeast Asian deforestation issues. However, the demand for palm oil remains high, and its global usage is more than any other vegetable oil. With the introduction of MSPO certification, sustainability issues can be put to rest while promoting a better overall perception.
A Golden Future
The MPOB will continue advocating for international recognition of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification. The Tokyo Organising Committee on Olympic Games 2020 was the first to do so. MPOB will be following this with a push for recognition from the Beijing Organising Committee on Olympic Winter Games 2022.
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