KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — It is prime for the palm oil industry to collaborate more comprehensively with competing seed oil producers, offering a multi-oils solution as a way for a sustainable industry in post-pandemic.
IOI Corporation Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said the seed oil sector is also equally important for the socio-economic development of a country, similarly in the same way that palm oil has been important for Malaysia and Asia.
“Innovations keep coming in, so having a multi-oils solution will create a sustainable business as different food applications require different fats composition,” he said during the second day of the virtual Malaysian Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar 2021 (POTS Digital 2021), today.
Besides that, he opined that the industry should also regionalise commodity-based palm oil trade, especially the cooking oil since the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the risk to long supply chain and implication on food security.
He said the strategy would also fit with the population distribution between the underdeveloped and emerging countries, as well as the developed countries.
“We also could develop special applications of palm oil for high-value products for hygiene, pharmaceutical and renewable fuel while making the palm oil’s competitive position more secure and sustainable in the long run,” he added.
PBB Oil Palms Bhd executive director and Wilmar International Ltd chief sustainability officer Jeremy Goon said sustainability palm oil is the key to access lucrative global markets, multi-national customers and brands with bigger investors, especially in post- Covid-19 pandemic.
“We need to figure out a proper sustainable business plan, especially in terms of meeting transparency, as well as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards or else the business might only end up in local markets,” he said.
On the recent ban by the United States (US) Customs and Border Protection (CBP), he hopes the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden, which is expected to take over the White House on January 20, would give an appropriate view in addressing the action taken.
The US CBP had issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on palm oil and products containing palm oil produced by Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and its subsidiaries, joint ventures, and affiliated entities, allowing it to detain shipments based on alleged forced labour involvement. — Bernama