KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 -- As of June 30, some 3,040 oil palm estates or 96.04 per cent of the total, comprising 4.06 million hectares, have obtained the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification, up from the 1,753 estates (71.1 per cent) comprising 2.97 million hectares on Dec 31, 2019.
In a statement today, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said in addition to this, 400 palm oil mills or 88.50 per cent had obtained the MSPO certification on June 30, 2020 compared with 340 palm oil mills or 75.2 per cent on Dec 31, 2019.
"The increase follows warning letters issued to 100 palm oil mills on Jan 28, 2020. Warning letters were also issued to estate owners who had yet to begin the process of MSPO certification on Feb 12, 2020,” he said.
He said as of May 31, 2020, the percentage of smallholders with MSPO certification was 24.82 per cent for independent smallholders with an area of 243,666 hectares, and 99.07 per cent for 231,576 organised smallholders with 670,010 hectares.
Due to the low rate of implementation of MSPO certification among smallholders especially independent smallholders, MPOB extended the MSPO mandatory enforcement period for smallholders by six months until June 30, 2020, he said.
The MSPO certification enforcement for smallholders would begin on July 1, 2020, based on several considerations, including the commitment of private smallholders to MSPO certification implementation, with the number registered for MSPO certification in the sustainable palm oil clusters (SPOCs) still low.
The MPOB will issue a compound followed by licence suspension or termination for operators of estates and palm oil mills who have not yet commenced the process of MSPO certification on Jan 1, 2021.
He said MPOB can take legal action against industry players including smallholders who have not begun the MSPO certification process under the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (Licensing) 2005 regulation number 15(1)(a).
A warning letter would be issued on Jan 1, 2021 followed by a compound starting from July 1, 2021, he said.
On Jan 1, 2020, the government fixed the date of implementation of mandatory MSPO certification. In line with the mandatory implementation, all parties in the palm oil industry including smallholders must implement MSPO certification at their premises.
Ahmad Parveez said on July 1, 2019, MPOB had issued a notice of the mandatory MSPO certification to licencees of palm oil mills, estates and smallholders, and a MSPO certification enforcement notice was issued on Dec 27, 2019.