Malaysian Palm Oil – Educational Program
Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is one organization that has the mission to promote the expansion of Malaysian Palm Oil and its products. They constantly work on enhancing the image of the Palm Oil and create better acceptance of Palm Oil. This is a hard task, which the council is doing by sharing awareness of various technological and sharing economical advantage. I was recently invited for an educational program between 13-17th November 2017 in Malaysia. The program provided an opportunity to discover more about Palm Oil and exchange views with Malaysia’s experts on production of sustainable palm oil.
Facts about Palm Oil
Palm Oil is widely used across the world. Its versatility and excellent properties make palm oil an ideal food ingredient for many products including chocolate spreads, biscuits, bakery and ice cream. Palm oil derivatives are also widely used in household items such as washing powder, shampoo, surfactants and cosmetics. In some parts of the world, palm oil is also utilized as feedstock for advanced biofuels and energy generation.
Facts about Malaysian Palm Oil Industry
The demand for palm oil remains strong, after Indonesia Malaysia is the top exporter of Palm Oil across the globe. Malaysian Palm Oil accounts to nearly 30% of global Palm export.
- Production in Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer after Indonesia, rose 12.9 percent in October from a month earlier to hit the 2 million tonne mark, while end-stocks gained 8.4 percent to 2.2 million tonnes.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reached their lowest level in more than four months (Aug – Oct’17) as the ringgit strengthened, making the tropical oil more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.
- Palm oil is impacted by movements in other edible oils as they compete for a share of the global vegetable oils market.
- Malaysian palm oil is exported to Europe, the US, Japan and China for use in the production of biodiesel.
- European Union (EU) proposing a ban Palm Oil citing reasons – the expansion of plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia has seen farmers using the illegal slash-and-burn method to clear land, thus destroying rainforests and habitats of animals, while causing a severe haze that blanketed parts of Asia.
MPOC is actively involved along with the Malaysian Government to share inputs with EU for resolving the differences and clear the air for trade across EU region from Malaysia.
Malaysian Palm Oil Educational Program
MPOC carefully selected individuals from different countries who are associated with Media. They invited individuals from 7 different countries – India (2), China (1), Netherlands (1), Pakistan (3), Russia (3), Bangladesh (1) and Egypt (1).
If we were to look at the countries to which Malaysia majorly exports Palm Oil – India, China, Netherlands and Pakistan make up for the Top-4. This list is followed by Philippines, Vietnam, Turkey and Iran. So, it is necessary to build awareness among people in these countries to ensure sustained Palm Oil exports.
This program gave an opportunity to experience how Malaysia’s palm oil supply chain work. The program agenda included various activities.
- Field Trip to Sime Darby’s Oil Palm Plantation at West Estate, Cary Island
- PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-1)
- Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Forum: The Way Forward
- Meeting with Kalyana Sundaram, CEO, MPOC
- Demonstration of Food Preparations using Palm Oil & Food Tasting by MasterChef Jochen Kern (Director of Berjaya School of Culinary Arts Berjaya University College of Hospitality)
- PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-2)
- A Vision for Transformation of the Oil Palm Industry by Ahmad Khusairi Din, Director-General of MPOB
- Development & Trend in Bioenergy by Dr. Ing Martin Kaltschmitt, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany
- Evaluation of Global Chemical Industry from Synthetic to Biobased by William Radany, CEO of Verdezyne Inc., USA
- Rethinking Saturated Fat by Azman Ismail, Clinician
- A Century of Economic Sustainability of Oil Palm in the Global Oils & Fats Complex by Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen Vice Chairman & Executive Director, UP Berhad)
- Forum discussion – Treasuring the Past, Charting the Future
- Joseph Tek Choon Yee (CEO of IJM Plantations Berhad)
- Ahmad Khusairi Din
- Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen
- Azman Ismail
- James Fry (Chairman, CMC International Ltd)
- Boat cruise along Sg. Kinabatangan River to witness wildlife
- Visit Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
- Field Trip to visit Small Planter near Putra Jaya
- Visit the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
- Discussion with MPOB officials
- Video presentation and visit to Food Laboratory
- Visit Biodiesel Pilot Plant
At the outset, the program looked very jam packed. But post the event, I realized that it was perfectly planned, and we could accommodate few more items.
Purpose of Visit
- Learn about sustainable practices commonly adopted in oil plantation, the roles of palm oil towards meeting the pillars of sustainable development namely – People, Planet, Profits and Development.
- Develop in-depth understanding about the attributes and uses of Palm Oil, the sustainability and health issues. Via this program, they wanted to showcase Malaysia’s effort in addressing them.
- Understanding of various Polices, Laws & Regulations, R&D, on the ground practices in Planation and Certification.
- Establish contacts with the Malaysian Stakeholders.
- Being able to make personal assessment on Malaysia and its Palm Oil Industry.
- Understanding the roles and responsibilities of various organizations within Malaysia – MPOC, MPOB, MPOCC and MSPO.
- Interaction with Senior Government officials, Planation Executes, Local Scientists, Chef and local stakeholder.
- Personally, I wanted to be able to get more info on – Production methodology, Limitation in terms of expanding Palm Plantation, Maintaining Ecological Balance, creating more employment opportunity, Show-casing health benefits of Palm Oil, Governments desire to increase productivity by efficient farming methods, Innovative way to yield and many more points.
MPOC – Mission & Objectives
To promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.
- Enhance trade opportunities in the market place by identifying and meeting the latest opportunities in the market.
- Encourage product diversification by using Malaysian palm oil as the key ingredient, thus gaining a prominent role in new and reformulated products.
- Improve understanding of palm oil, enhancing its application and elucidating its numerous strengths and benefits.
- Uphold the good name of Malaysian palm oil by closing the gap between the issues of perception, allegations and the realities of palm oil.
- Safeguard Malaysian palm oil as the most dominant vegetable oil in terms of market coverage, nutritional benefits, environmental sustainability and commercial success.
This was one of the best experiences in my life which was both educational and fun at the same time. I was able to gain knowledge about the Palm Oil Industry by listening and interacting with various International scholars and officials from various – MPOC, MPOB, MSPO and MPOCC. The field trip to Oil Palm Plantations helped knowing the efforts, being put to improve productivity by effective utilization of available land and using better farming techniques. Interaction with Masterchef helped in understand the health benefits and usage of Palm Oil in food industry. Finally, the visit to Sabah made us the richness of natures and efforts by government to sustain.
I applaud the effort by the MPOC to assemble International Journalists and bloggers from various countries. It was great to hear various view-points and learn from their expereince.
I would like to thank Ms.Bhavana Shah (MPOC Country Representative, India & Srilanka) for selecting me to represent India. Special thanks to Mr.Mayur Parekh (Indian Journalist), another Indian Journalist who was of great support during the trip. Thanks to Fizan (MPOC) and Suzanna Mohamed (MPOC) for planning the complete event & guiding us all throughout the trip. A special thanks to MPOC CEO, Dr.Kalyan Sundaram for leading the MPOC organization very well. This initiative will spread the right info about the Palm Oil Industry among International community.
This blog is the first among the many blogs related to MPOC Educational Program. Refer to the links below to read about other activities.
MPOC – Malaysian Palm Oil Council
MPOB – Malaysian Plan Oil Board
MPOCC – Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council
MSPO – Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil
Sime Darby Plantation
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Malaysian Palm Oil – Educational Program
Malaysian Palm Oil – The Road Ahead
Field Trip to Malaysian Palm Oil Plantations
Cook off using Palm Oil by MasterChef Jochen Kern
Wildlife and Nature in Mega-Diverse Malaysia