Date : 9th January 2018
Venue : The Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur
Reach & Remind, Friends of the Industry Seminar 2018 and Dialogue is an annual seminar organised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council, MPOC with the objective to highlight important issues and opportunities in the Malaysian palm oil industry by way of a seminar –cum- dialogue and also exhibition. The 9th edition of Reach & Remind, Friends of the Industry Seminar 2018 & Dialogue (R&R 2018) was held on 9th January 2018 at the Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.
The event was graced by YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of Plantation Industries & Commodities (MPIC). It was also attended by Secretary General of MPIC, Datuk K. Yogeesvaran, Chairman of Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Datuk Seri Hj. Ahmad bin Hj. Hamzah, Chairman of MPOC, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Director-General of MPOB, Datuk Dr. Ahmad Kushairi Din and Chief Executive Officer of MPOC, Dr. Kalyana Sundram. Stakeholders and members of the palm oil industry throughout Malaysia turned up for the event, giving their full support. A total of 430 participants turned up for the event with active participation from the palm oil associations during the dialogue with YB Minister.
The event took off with the welcoming remarks by Chief Executive Officer of MPOC, Dr. Kalyana Sundram. In his welcoming speech, Dr. Kalyana Sundram thanked all participants from the industry for their continuous participation and support of R&R 2018. He also highlighted that this platform is a great opportunity for members of the industry to meet and openly engage with YB Minister through dialogue that debates the upcoming challenges and opportunities in the current year and beyond.
During the seminar, two papers were presented, with a paper by Dr. Pietro Paganini from John Cabot University entitled “Addressing Europe’s No Palm Oil labels: Challenges, Strategies and Outcomes“, and a paper by Chief Executive Officer MPOC, Dr. Kalyana Sundram on “European Consumption and Malaysian Palm Oil: A Sustainable Future Together?“. Besides that, a panel session discussing on the 2018 Market Outlook was held with 3 experts from the Malaysian palm oil industry. The panelists were, Mr. Ling Ah Hong from Ganling Sdn Bhd, Dr. Sathia Varqa from Palm Oil Analytics and Ms. Fatimah Zahara from MPOC.
The keynote address was presented by YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Malaysia to set out the industry’s direction for the year 2018. He highlighted that, the year 2017 has been a challenging year for the palm oil industry, with an increase of 11.5 percent in palm oil price compared to 2016. In terms of export tonnage, there has been an increase of 350,286 Metric Tonne or 1.64 percent while in terms of value, it was an increase of RM8.12 billion or by 13.51percent compared to the corresponding period of 2016. The industry has contributed tremendously towards economic growth and raising the incomes of the oil palm planters, in particular the smallholders. Through the efforts of the Government, oil palm cultivation has been an enabler and has contributed multiplier effects to the other sub-sectors of the industry. YB Minister also added that he acknowledges the importance of the palm oil sector and continues to provide assistance for replanting and new planting, promotes greater down streaming and value-adding, facilitates certification for sustainable palm oil and supports R&D activities. The Government has also introduced measures whenever necessary to stabilise CPO prices to ensure remunerative returns for the industry players, particularly the smallholders.
The Ministry and other agencies are consistently monitoring and taking steps to address any anti-palm oil campaigns and addressing any negative issues related to palm oil cultivation and its production. The EU Palm Oil and Deforestation Resolution is a major challenge for palm oil producing countries. It is timely for our Malaysian palm oil industry to rally against time to meet the mandatory MSPO scheme by 2019. YB Minister urged other industry members to actively participate in all promotion and product expansion efforts to build stronger market among those who already value Malaysian palm oil.
An open dialogue between YB Minister and the palm oil associations was also facilitated to further discuss issues and challenges foreseen for the year. During the dialogue, YB Minister was also joined by Datuk K. Yogeesvaran, Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Datuk Dr. Ahmad Kushairi and Dr. Kalyana Sundram. Among the issues highlighted were research and development activities in Sarawak, more incentives and opportunities for downstream development, pressure on palm oil export to EU and its impact on smallholders, opportunities for expanding current product market and exploring new markets.
All presentations are made available in MPOC website and may be downloaded here