The Malaysian Palm Oil Council launches a mark of provenance and an information campaign for more responsible palm oil
Launched in France and in Belgium on 7 September, the information campaign on Malaysian palm oil organised by MPOC, the promotional association bringing together Malaysian palm oil industry stakeholders aims to combat preconceived ideas and invites the public to form their own opinion. On this occasion, MPOC is launching a mark of provenance and restating its commitment to more responsible production.
It is the most-consumed oil in the world. A key product for responding to the needs of the world food-processing industry, it today accounts for 35% of the world vegetable oil market. However, a great many untruths circulate around palm oil. You hear everything and its opposite – at times everything and anything at all – regarding its impact on nutrition, health, the environment, economic and sustainable development in Asia and Africa. Palm oil is blamed for a host of ills, with a particularly high proportion of preconceived ideas in public opinion.
To better inform French and Belgian consumers…respond to the controversies and promote what Malaysians see as an emblematic product (8.3% of the foreign trade, the country’s fourth-biggest economic resource), the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has launched this information campaign based on transparency and openness that will showcase the initiatives and efforts made in the field to enable the industry to progress further every day towards more sustainable and more responsible production of palm oil. Malaysian palm oil is already a world-leader, and continues to improve with ambitious plans for a more efficient and responsible future.
More responsible in environmental terms, thanks to a shared determination to optimise management of forest resources and protect endangered species; more responsible also in terms of consumer health, thanks to continuous research to improve a product whose properties are not well understood… and which Malaysians refuse to modify through use of GMO technology. Lastly, a socially responsible industry, that enables a large number of small producers to move up into the middle class thanks to a higher and more reliable income, but that also provides effective, modern infrastructure for plantation residents: schools, clinics, roads, etc.
Officially launched on 7 September, the campaign entitled “They say everything and anything at all about Malaysian palm oil” orchestrated by Havas Paris, invites each and every one of us to form our own opinion about Malaysian palm oil. It relies on the curiosity and exacting standards of the citizen consumer, who is invited to view the original and informative content made available on the malaysianpalmoil.info website.
The integrated communication platform has several components:
- a press, poster and digital campaign in France and Belgium. The series of five amusing and colourful illustrations takes a playful look at a number of widespread myths as a way of challenging them
- an educational website (malaysianpalmoil.info) offering informative content, together with a quiz to win a study trip to Malaysia
- a mini web-doc (six sequences of approximately two minutes each on the themes of production, animals, food, forests, health, social issues) hosted on the dedicated site, which follows the adventures of three students and young professionals – Angélique, Marianne and Simon – who went out to meet local stakeholders
- creation and coordination of dedicated social networks to share content and interact with the public:
- a platform for relaying information to the French and Belgian media
“Palm oil provides a livelihood for over one million people in Malaysia, including 300,000 small farmers. We have launched this campaign to encourage a more balanced debate and correct the myths, the consequences of which are underestimated. This is particularly important for us in that a great many myths and falsehoods do indeed circulate about the product, often with serious consequences for those working in the industry in Malaysia or in Europe”, declared Dr Yusof Basiron, CEO of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) at the press conference to launch the campaign.
Carl Bek-Nielsen, Vice-Chairman of United Plantations, a Malaysian palm oil producer said “We want to let every citizen and consumer form their own opinion based on the reality on the ground. We hope they will realise that the Malaysian oil palm industry is committed on a daily basis to producing an oil that is more responsible in terms of the environment, health and the people who make a living from it “.g
The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) embodies Malaysia’s determination to be a responsible and competitive producer of palm oil in the international market. MPOC is recognised worldwide for its production of documentation on all the topics related to palm oil and the industry. The many stakeholders of Malaysian palm oil, including small farmers, larger plantations, research bodies, etc, represent an increasingly responsible product and industry. This allows MPOC to promote bold initiatives in terms of sustainable development, social assistance programmes and information campaigns, in Malaysia and elsewhere in the world.