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The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has launched a mark of provenance and an information campaign entitled ‘They say everything and anything at all about Malaysian Palm Oil’. It was launched in France and Belgium on Sept 7 to combat preconceived ideas about palm oil.

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Palm oil is Malaysia’s fourth-biggest economic resource, contributing 8.3% of its exports. It is also the most-consumed edible oil in the world. A key product in responding to the needs of the food-processing industry, it today accounts for 35% of the global vegetable oil market.

However, a great many untruths circulate about palm oil. Consumers hear everything and anything at all regarding its purported impact on nutrition, health, the environment, and economic and sustainable development in Asia and Africa.

The campaign is intended to better inform consumers, to respond to controversies and to promote what Malaysians see as an emblematic product. It is based on transparency and openness that will showcase the initiatives and efforts being made to enable the industry to progress towards more sustainable and more responsible production of palm oil.

Malaysian Palm Oil, already a world leader, continues to improve with ambitious plans on many fronts:

  • In terms of the environment, it builds on a shared determination to optimise management of forest resources and protect endangered species;
  • In terms of consumer health, it takes advantage of continuous research to improve a product whose properties are still not well understood – but which Malaysians refuse to modify through use of genetic modification technology.
  • As a socially responsible industry, it enables a large number of small producers to move up into the middle class thanks to higher and more reliable income. It also provides effective, modern infrastructure such as schools, health clinics and roads for plantation communities.

Integrated platform

The campaign orchestrated by Havas Paris invites every consumer to form their own opinion about Malaysian Palm Oil. It relies on the curiosity and exacting standards of the consumer, who is invited to view the original and informative content made available on the malaysianpalmoil.info website.

Industry views

At the press conference to launch the campaign, MPOC CEO Dr Yusof Basiron declared: “Palm oil provides a livelihood for over one million people in Malaysia, including small farmers.

“We have launched this campaign to encourage a more balanced debate and correct the myths, the consequences of which are underestimated. This is particularly important for us in that a great many myths and falsehoods do indeed circulate about the product, often with serious consequences for those working in the industry in Malaysia or in Europe.”

Mr Carl Bek-Nielsen, Vice-Chairman of United Plantations Bhd, a Malaysian Palm Oil producer added: “We want to let every citizen and consumer form their own opinion based on the reality on the ground.

“We hope they will realise that the Malaysian oil palm industry is committed on a daily basis to producing an oil that is more responsible in terms of the environment, health and the people who make a living from it.”

The MPOC embodies Malaysia’s determination to be a responsible and competitive producer of palm oil in the international market. It is recognised worldwide for its documentation of topics related to palm oil and the industry.

The many stakeholders of Malaysian Palm Oil, including small farmers, large plantations and research bodies, represent an increasingly responsible product and industry. This allows MPOC to promote bold initiatives in terms of sustainable development, social assistance programmes, and information campaigns across the world.

 

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