RM50m matching grants to boost quality, safety of products
We have been producing products that are safe and of the highest quality, but we want higher food safety standards. DATUK SERI MAH SIEW KEONG Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister
The government will allocate RM50 million in grants to assist the palm oil industry towards enhancing the quality and safety of Malaysian palm oil products and consumption.
“We will award the matching grants to companies from the private sector to conduct research. The companies, however, must have majority shares owned by Malaysians,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
“The grants are for research to be carried out on ways to eliminate palm oil contaminants to ensure the highest level of safe palm oil products,” he said after launching the Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference 2017 (POC 2017), here, yesterday.
Mah said Malaysia is the world’s second-largest palm oil producer.
“We have been producing products that are safe and of the highest quality, but we want higher food safety standards,” he added.
Mah also said Malaysia would make it mandatory for the certification of sustainable palm oil under the framework of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil.
“This scheme, which was implemented on a voluntary basis beginning 2015, will be made mandatory in stages starting December 31 next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mah said Malaysia was still negotiating with Indonesia on standardising the export duty structure for crude palm oil (CPO).
“We have not finalised anything. We have received feedback from various upstream and downstream industries, but we hope to work with Indonesia on standardising the price structure.
“Malaysia hopes to discuss the possibility of having a common tax structure with Indonesia so as not to be in conflict with the world’s palm oil trade,” he said.
The mismatch in the CPO export duty structure had led to a discount of between US$15 and US$30 (RM133.35) per tonne in the trading of various palm oil products between Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Customs Department raised the CPO export duty to eight per cent this month, from 7.5 per cent last month.