Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the certification scheme, implemented in 2015, showed only 4.0 per cent of the total 5.737 million hectares palm cultivated were MSPO certified until December last year.
"We need to convince them to comply with the certification. But, at the same time, we must be strict on it and have a timeline for making it mandatory," he added.
Mah told a news conference this after delivering his opening remarks for the consultation session of the "Way Forward for MSPO Certification" here Thursday.
"The palm oil industry has been portrayed as advocating environmentally unfriendly practices such as deforestation, thereby contributing to a loss of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions, while facing other evolving issues related to health concerns and inaccurate information about the nutritional benefits of the product.
"Thus, it is imperative for Malaysia to brand our palm oil as nutritional, sustainable and safe for human consumption.
"As a move towards branding it as sustainable palm oil, it is vital to make the MSPO certification scheme mandatory," he said. – Bernama