Malaysian Palm Oil – The Road Ahead


Malaysian is the fastest growing countries in the Southeast Asia with GDP growth at 5.8% in Q2, 2017.  Economy of Malaysia is the 4th largest in Southeast Asia and 35th largest economy in the world.  The labour productivity is significantly high intensity of knowledge-based industries and adoption of cutting edge technology for manufacturing and the digital economy.  Malaysia export turnout was around $175.7 billion (2015 est).  Their major export goods include – Semiconductor & Electronic products, Palm Oil, Liquefied Natural Gas, Petroleum, Chemicals, Machinery, Vehicles, Optical & Scientific Equipment, Manufactures of Metal, Rubber, Wood and Wood Products.

Malaysian Palm Oil Educational Program

Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is one of the organization in Malaysia that promotes Market expansion of Malaysian Palm Oil and its product.  As part of the initiate they setup an Educational Program and invited International Journalists from the following countries – India (2), China (1), Netherlands (1), Pakistan (3), Russia (3), Bangladesh (1), and Egypt (1).  This list included the top-4 (India, China, Netherlands and Pakistan).

The program did span across a week between 13-17 November 2017.  During the program some of the activities included – Field Trips across Oil Palm Plantations, Attending PIPOC 2017 Conference, Meeting MPOC & MPOB Teams, Cook-off event showcasing usage of Palm Oil and Visit to Rainforest Development Centre & Oran Hutan Rehab centres at Sandakan.

This blog will contain info regarding the PIPOC 2017 Conference, Meeting with MPOC team and MPOB team separately.


Let me elaborate further on the specific activities that I will be share more details.  I will highlight the activity depending on the location.

  • Meeting with MPOC, CEO – Dr.Kalyana Sundaram
  • PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-1)
    • Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Forum
  • PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-2)
    • A Vision for Transformation of the Oil Palm Industry
    • Development & Trend in Bioenergy
    • Evaluation of Global Chemical Industry from Synthetic to Bio-Based
    • Rethinking Saturated Fat
    • A Century of Economic Sustainability of Oil Palm in the Global Oils & Fats Complex
    • Forum discussion – Treasuring the Past, Charting the Future
  • Visit the Malaysian Palm Oil Board

Meeting CEO of MPOC

This was a dinner meeting with Dr.Kalyana Sundaram, CEO, MPOC.  But before we could start off with the same, we were given insight into various activities done by MPOC.

  • During the next presentation by Dr.Sanath (MPOC) shared info regarding the elaborate steps involved in the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Process.  Some of the points highlighted during the presentation.
  • Promoting Values& Benefits through MPOC Certification
  • Need for Malaysian Standard for Palm Oil (MSPO).
  • Contents of MS 2530:2013 which includes – set of Standards, Principles, Criteria and Indicators.

We also got a chance to have one to one discussion over dinner with the MPOC heads.  The CEO and the staff were more than happy to share any info related to their work, issues being faced, plans to overcome and giving glimpse future.

PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-1)

Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Forum

The subject for the conference was getting the Malaysian Plan Oil Certification across all Planters in the country.  Government is driving towards making Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO), so it helps the country for many years.

  • This session saw speaker across folks from MPOB (Malaysian Palm Oil Board), MPOCC (Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council) and MSPO (Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil) sharing their papers on MSPO.  Highlight from some of the presenters included.
  • The oil palm area by ownership category Private estate, Government Agencies and Independent Smallholders own 61.6%, 23.6% and 15.0% respectively.
  • Unified approach towards Sustainability of Palm Oil across the country.
  • Need for common Certification across all producers in the Malaysia.
  • Sharing info regarding the best practices by highlighting Environment Trends and Social Trends.
  • Working with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and MPOCC to strengthen standards.
  • MSPO Certification Scheme – MSPO Standards, Certification System and Accreditation Programme.
  • Challenges faced by various user due to presence of multiple certification systems.
  • Panel discussion with topics regarding – International Perspective (benchmarking MSPO  as an International Standard), National Perspective (achieving 100% MSPO by Dec 2019) and Smallholder perspective.
  • The panelists also answered many questions and clarified doubts regarding Certification, MSPO and answered queries of many planters & audience.

PIPOC 2017 Conference (Day-2)

This was another interesting day at the conference that saw International speakers from various universities presenting papers on topics related to various topic related to Palm Oil, Saturated Fat, Global Oils and other topics.

  • 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 Bio-based 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
    • Moderator
      • Joseph Tek Choon Yee (CEO of IJM Plantations Berhad)
    • Panelists
      • Ahmad Khusairi Din
      • Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen
      • Azman Ismail
      • James Fry (Chairman, CMC International Ltd)

It is always great to hear International speaker sharing their perspective on various topics.  The very fact that they were part of the conference, is reflection of their support for Malaysian Palm Oil.

Meeting the folks from MPOB

Last leg of the Education Program including the discussion with the official from Malaysian Palm Oil Board.  We got an opportunity to hear from Director of MPOB, Datuk Dr. Ahmed Kushari Din.  They showed videos related to – MPOB and the Malaysian Palm Oil Industry, Oil Palm – Man & Nature and Palm oil – Unique, Versatile & Nutritious.

The session was then presided over by Dr.Ahmad Parveez Hj Ghulam Kadir who is the Deputy Director General (R&D) at MPOB.

The MPOB officials, shared info about the Marketing being done in developing countries, future for high importers of Palm, efforts being taken to get MSPO Certification for all planters and answered many queries from International Journalists.

Overall Experience

The experience of being able to interact with listen to eminent doctors and scholars speak is always good.  Every speaker who spoke from MPOC, MPOB and MPOCC team showed their passion & commitment to their work.  I remember asking multiple question to the scholars and they calmly answered the same by giving factual data.

Kudos to MPOC team for setting up such a beautiful event with International Journalists.  I got to learn a lot from every individual who reflected the country culture.

I would like to thank Bhavana Shah (MPOC Country Representative, India & Srilanka) for selecting me to be part of this International Exposure.  Thanks to Fizan (MPOC) for coming up with the agenda and seeing it through with all of us.  Thanks to Suzanna Mohamed (MPOC) for being there with all of us and being a single point of contact for any issue during the trip.  A special thanks to MPOC CEO, Dr.Kalyan Sundaram for leading the MPOC very well.  This initiative will eventually help in building a good image for Malaysian Palm Oil Internationally.

This blog is the second 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

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

Sime Darby Plantation

Kinabatangan River

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Rainforest Discovery 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