Sarawak Makes Significant Stride Towards Sustainable Palm Oil

Posted on 09 February 2012
 

Kuching, Malaysia, 9 February 2012 – As the catalyst for oil palm growth in Malaysia, Sarawak’s increased commitment towards best practices in the cultivation of oil palm according to international standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international multi-stakeholder initiative, will be a significant step forward.

The certification under the RSPO standards began in 2008 and to date within just over 3 years, production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) has reached an impressive mark of 11% of global crude palm oil. Malaysia leads the pack as the world’s largest CSPO producer at 48% amongst other producing nations namely Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, South America and West Africa. 

Malaysia’s sterling record continues in comprising over 40% of total certified grower companies and more than half of total palm oil mills certified around the world. Malaysian companies also comprise the second largest member by country representation amongst RSPO’s total membership which has experienced an exuberant growth in the past year bordering 700 members from over 50 countries around the globe.

“We commend the effort and achievements made by Malaysian companies under the RSPO’s international certification standard. Continuous determination and perseverance has brought the nation to such noteworthy achievements. Sarawak, a diversified economy, in possession of many natural resources; a diverse ecosystem with rich ancient tropical rainforests and land abundance has enormous potential to further catapult Malaysia’s commitment and contribution in the production of CSPO.

“Companies like Keresa Plantations are one such example of how Sawarak should transform its cultivation of oil palm to sustainable standards in order to remain ahead of global trends and competition concurrently with responsible and conscientious practices.” commented Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO. 

Keresa was the first Sarawak-based company to have its mill certified by RSPO in November 2010.  YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Jugah, Chairman of Keresa Plantation commented, “Keresa has come far since it embarked on the journey to be certified in the year 2008. Being RSPO certified has provided us with a competitive advantage and opened up new markets.

Graeme Iain Brown, Managing Director for Keresa Plantations and Keresa Mill said “We are seeing the benefits of certification. We have further strengthened our rapport with our employees as well as the smallholders. Being RSPO certified has allowed us to communicate clearly to our consumers that we produce palm oil that that environmentally friendly and socially just. We will not stop, rather will strive and push our standards to greater heights.”

About RSPO

In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite office in Jakarta.

RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project level Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and making decisions by consensus.

About Keresa Plantation

KERESA PLANTATIONS SDN BHD is a local bumiputra company with about 15 years of experience in oil palm plantation. Currently, Keresa owns a 6,023 hectares of oil palm plantation at Lavang Land District, Bintulu, which started operation in 1996. As at end of 2006, a total of 5,347 hectares has been planted with more than half of it (3, 882 hectares) categorized as matured. Having a yield rate of 24 tonne per hectare, current FFB production is reaching 100,000 tonnes. Upon complete maturity of Keresa's existing plantation, it is expected to produce FFB of more than 140,000 tonnes per annum.

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