Palm oil is one of the world’s most important commodities. As populations look for the most eco-friendly choices, more attention than ever is being paid to sustainable Malaysian palm oil.
Last month, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders made headlines around the world when he announced that his country imposes no restrictions on Malaysian palm oil imports because, “production of the commodity is sustainable.” Reynders added that Belgians would be educated about the “good social practices” of Malaysia’s palm oil industry.
By 2050, world demand of oils and fats is expected to require double the current production. Malaysia plans to continue to take center stage in the international supply chain in this sector. “Other sources of edible oils will not be able to expand so easily, as they are land intensive,” explained Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron, CEO, Malaysian Palm Oil Council. “The responsibility will fall on palm oil, which is land efficient.”
What makes the oil palm so inherently sustainable?
Land is a finite resource. Experts explain that oil palm plantations is a sustainable and environmentally beneficial activity.
In addition, the production and processing of palm oil is, in itself, a sustainable process. Almost all oil palm plantations by-products can be used. Empty shell husks, for example, can be used as fertilizer, to generate electricity or to fortify concrete.
Malaysian Sustain Palm Oil (MSPO) is Malaysia’s own sustainable palm oil certification program. MSPO standards include Good Agricultural Practices to ensure that activities are carried out sustainable to play a responsible role in reducing the environmental footprint. The Malaysian palm oil industry is further committed to aggressive wildlife conservation efforts.
Watch for more details about the MSPO certification program in 2015.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.