MIRI: Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad (SOPB) strongly supports the development of sustainable oil palm management through certification to be able to access new solutions for the production of certified sustainable palm oil products.

SOPB Group chief executive Paul Wong Hee Kwong said SOPB was committed to ensure that all products from fresh fruit bunch, palm oil mill and the refinery are fully certified under Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO).

Wong said this at SOPB-Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)-Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) briefing on MSPO Certification to smallholders, outgrowers and Palm Oil Mill owners at a leading hotel here yesterday.

Over 380 participants from Miri region attended the briefing.

Inviting small holders, outgrowers and mill owners to move forward and commit to MSPO certification scheme, Wong assured that only by getting themselves involved would they realise the benefits, especially in the longer term.

“The first step is to collaborate with MPOB and MPOCC and eventually all players in the oil palm industry in Sarawak will become certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) producers and can reap the benefits upon acceptance of the palm oil products by the world market,” he said.

Wong pointed out that sustainable management of oil palm plantations, mills and refineries would naturally result in protecting the environment, taking care of stakeholders’ interest and bottom line.

“These could be achieved through certification. With concerted effort made by MPOB and MPOCC, MSPO certification scheme are available for all palm oil producers to subscribe and move forward in the globalised world.”

He also stressed that successful sustainable management required them to innovate and collaborate.

“We are committed to bring the best management practices through collaboration with renowned research institutions such as MPOB which brings in expertise from local and international universities in providing latest innovation and research on the palm oil industry,” Wong added.

Wong said SOPB had been collaborating with MPOB and leading universities in research projects especially on conservation of peatland as well as research on carbon emission within oil palm plantations.

“In preparation for sustainable certified palm oil, a collective effort need to be done by all parties involved in the plantation and cultivation of oil palm especially by small holders, outgrowers and palm oil mill owners,” he added.

Meanwhile, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said as world demand for palm oil is increasing, it is important for the government to assist the players in the oil palm industry especially smallholders to be involved in responsible and sustainable farming methods.

Dennis noted that about 40 per cent of the production of fresh fruits bunches in Malaysia were supplied by small holders.

He commended SOPB for organising the briefing adding it was playing a huge role in providing relevant support by getting the authorities and institutions to improve best practices within the industry.

“I am pleased to note SOPB has effectively played a key role in promoting the capabilities and strength of MSPO certification to the relevant parties especially for the benefits of smallholders, outgrowers and mill owners,” he said.

At the function, Dennis also witnessed the pledge of commitment by SOPB.

Also present at the briefing were SOPB chief operating officer Eric Kiu Kwong Seng, MPOB senior research fellow Dr Ainie Kuntom and MPOCC senior manager plantation management Chong Wei Kwang.

Source: The Borneo Post Online – http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/09/24/sopb-all-for-sustainable-oil-palm-management/