Home > Uncategorized > Do more to defend palm oil, RSPO told

Do more to defend palm oil, RSPO told

This is written by my colleague at Sabah bureau, Kristy Inus.

KOTA KINABALU: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has to be more pro-active in defending the palm oil industry’s position.

“The RSPO should be more positive when questions of a negative nature are posed,” Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok told reporters after launching the Third International Plantation Industry Conference and Exhibition (IPiCEX 2012) here yesterday.

“Otherwise, it would seem that they do not believe in the work they are doing – you are certifying palm oil as being sustainable and yet at the same time, not putting up any support for the industry. Certification bodies such as RSPO must support the very products that they are certifying.

He was commenting on Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron’s statement that RSPO has failed oil palm growers. Dompok said what MPOC had highlighted needs to be taken into account.

On Saturday, MPOC’s Yusof had lashed out at the international multi-stakeholder organisation for failing in its function. He had stated that there is no point of having 4.78 million tonnes of RSPO-certified oil in the market if it could not even gain access into France.

French retail chains recently campaigned to label their goods “palm oil-free” in support of environmental groups against the destruction of rainforests due to oil palm cultivation.

Yusof had also stated that planters have not been adequately represented in the RSPO, resulting in the resolutions put forward by oil palm growers being repeatedly outvoted every year.

Dompok said the equal representation of stakeholders is a valid point that must be considered by an organisation of this nature.

On the issue of no-palm oil labelling in France, he reiterated that Malaysia and France are working towards forming a joint working committee.

He has been in touch with French Minister for Agriculture Stephane Le Foll on having the joint working committee on oil palm industry. “So far we are awaiting their response,” he said, adding that his ministry’s secretary-general Datin Paduka Nurmala Abd Rahim would take up the matter with the French Agriculture Ministry.

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