Coordinated approach needed to iron out problems in the palm oil industry

KUALA LUMPUR: A palm oil industry player has called for a coordinated approach to address the issues in the palm oil industry, including the treatment of foreign workers in Malaysia.

Perpetua George, general manager for group sustainability at Wilmar International Ltd, pointed out that there are foreign labor issues in many sectors across Malaysia, not just the palm oil industry.

“I think if you expect just one sector to take action, that’s not going to solve the problem. We also need to get input from the manufacturing and construction sectors,” she said.

During a panel session titled “Palm Oil Sustainability: The Way Forward” at the Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference and Exhibition (POC2023) here today, she noted that the oil palm sector has been scapegoated for years in terms of treatment by foreign workers.

Noting that the sector’s contributions to rural development have also not been recognised, she stressed that oil palm companies have provided infrastructure such as shelter, schools and roads over the years.

She added that palm oil companies have set up vaccination centers in rural areas during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We do a lot. We need reciprocity, we need guidance from the Sustainable Palm Oil Roundtable and the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council. We need the government to come and support us,” she said.

The two-day POC2023, which ends today, was organized by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Bhd. – Bernama Coordinated approach needed to iron out problems in the palm oil industry

Andrew Schnitker

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