Collaboration to engage with RSPO for
more practical sustainable criteria
KUCHING: Palm oil
producers in Indonesia and Malaysia have established the
Indonesia-Malaysia Palm Oil Group (IMPOG) to formalise their
collaboration on sustainable palm oil development.
chairman will be from the Association of Plantation Investors of
Malaysia in Indonesia, which will also serve as its secretariat this
“The chairmanship will be rotated bi-annually,” said a
joint communique issued after the first meeting of Malaysian and
Indonesian palm oil producers here yesterday.
The communique said
the group had set up a steering committee to focus on emerging research
and development, sustainability related issues and communication to
“IMPOG did not discuss any alternative
sustainability certification scheme for palm oil. However, the meeting
agreed to engage with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for a
more practical and implementable scheme,” it added.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
said Malaysia opposed the inclusion of greenhouse gas emission
calculations in the RSPO principles and criteria for palm oil
certification as such calculations varied widely from mineral soils to
“The adoption of greenhouse gas emission calculation
when palm oil is used for food purposes does not create a level playing
field. Producers of other food crops such as wheat, cattle and sheep are
not subjected to such scrutiny,” he added.
He said the oil palm
tree was unique because of its inherent high productivity and efficient
Dompok said under current practices, oil
palm was the highest yielding crop in the world, easily surpassing,
sometimes up to 10 times, the oil yield of competing oilseed crops.
warned Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil producers, who together
contribute some 85% of the world’s palm oil production, not to
compromise on sustainable practices as the consequences would be
damaging and have far-reaching impact on the industry.
Palm Oil Association (Gapki) chairman Purboyo Guritno, who led the
Indonesian delegation, said the time was ripe for palm oil producers in
both countries to adopt a proactive strategy to counter the threats by
the Western anti-palm oil movement.
“So far, we have always taken
a defensive mode, hoping that the anti-palm oil movement will give up
with improving knowledge on the positive impact of palm oil industry in
poverty alleviation and economic growth, and the rising demand for food
and energy that can only be met by palm oil development,” he said.
he said it was awful to see escalating threats from the anti-palm oil
movement and the magnitude of challenges faced by the oil palm industry.
Purboyo said the meeting of palm oil producers in Malaysia and
Indonesia marked an incredible turn of events to jointly address the
growing pressures and threats from competitors and their allies in
pushing for more rigorous environmental, social standards and
Six organisations that represent oil palm growers
in Indonesia and Malaysia signed a memorandum of collaboration for the
establishment of a producers’ cooperation forum on sustainable palm oil
in Jakarta recently.
Besides Gapki, the other signatories were
Malaysian Palm Oil Association, Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners
Association, Association of Plantation Investors of Malaysia in
Indonesia, Indonesia Oil Palm Smallholders Association and Federal Land