There are only a few food products which are special enough to include their location of origin in their name. Chefs may prefer Madagascar vanilla, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Irish butter. Many foodies appreciate New York pizza, Florida oranges and Sumatran coffee. There is another food for which geography is important, Malaysian palm oil. Thankfully a new certification, Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO), may help you identify this high-end ingredient in your favorite products. MSPO certification is exclusively for premium-quality palm oil sustainably grown and produced in Malaysia, a recognized leader in responsible palm oil production.
What is MSPO certification?
The MSPO certification program, first launched in 2015, is quickly becoming known around the world as an indicator of quality. Its standards have been established to reflect the realities of the oil palm industry and address the concerns expressed by stakeholders. MSPO certification addresses the environmental, social and economic aspects of palm oil production. It also documents the importance of balancing these aspects for the good of all involved.
MSPO certification covers all aspects of palm oil production, from the field to the final product. It includes general principles as well as stringent criteria for all parties involved in palm oil production, from the independent family farmers who tend the trees which produce the oil-rich fruit to the organizations that assist these smallholders to the palm oil mills which process the oil.
The MSPO standards cover seven areas:
- Management commitment and responsibility
- Compliance to legal requirements
- Social responsibility, safety and employment conditions
- Environment, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Best practices
- Development of new plantings
The multi-step procedure for MSPO certification includes both audits and peer reviews. These assure that best practices are consistently being followed. MSPO is administered through the independent Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council.