| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 8 March 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Harnarinder Singh, the man tasked to certify Malaysian palm oil for the world, has been steering the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) since its formation two years ago.
Appointed as CEO in October 2015, Harnarinder’s key task is to bring home the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme to as many palm oil operators in the country.
“We now have more than 220,000 ha MSPO certified, with 21 palm oil mills. This is just the beginning,” he tells Asia Samachar at a major palm oil related event in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
MPOCC is taking part in the two-day Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference & Exhibition (POC) in Kuala Lumpur organised by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad (BMD).
Malaysia is the second largest world producer of palm oil after Indonesia with a total oil palm planted area of 5.74 million ha.
Harnarinder, popularly known as Harry amongst friends, is also an active volunteer in the Sikh community, is the vice president of the Gurdwara Sahib Ampang (GSA) in Hulu Kelang, Selangor. He had also taken up roles in the camps organised by the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) as well as its Khalsa Land project in Kuala Kubu Bahru, Selangor.
MPOCC is an independent non-profit organisation established in December 2014 to develop and operate the MSPO certification scheme. Its mission is to establish and operate a credible and internationally recognised national palm oil certification scheme towards promoting sustainable management of oil palm in Malaysia.
At this juncture, one of the key challenges for Harnarinder and his team at MPOCC is to gain acceptance for the MSPO certification.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) is seeking the support of the oil palm industry to make MSPO certification mandatory and charting the way forward in its implementation so that a large portion of the oil palm planted areas can become MSPO certified and allow for Malaysia to export a substantial quantity of certified sustainable palm oil in the coming years.
The plan was outlined by MPIC minister Mah Siew Keong at a consultation session with various palm oil stakeholders on the Way Forward for Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification in Putrajaya Marriott in February 2017.
The minister said that this year being the 100th year of commercial oil palm cultivation in Malaysia, it was important to safeguard the palm oil industry and at the same time, to fulfill the increasing global demand for sustainable palm oil.
As a major palm oil producer, Mah had told the conference that was a need to safeguard and further alleviate the image of the industry to a higher level through mandatory MSPO certification.
In his presentation at the same conference, Harnarinder projected a target supply of 8.0 million tonnes of MSPO certified palm oil based on a total certified area of 2.0 million ha and 160 MSPO certified mills by the end of 2019.
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