August 30, 2007 (Bernama), Kuala Lumpur - The Codes of Practice (COP) for the Malaysian palm oil industry, launched at the International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2007 here today, will take effect by middle of next year.
Datuk Dr Mohd Basri Wahid, director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), said the codes, to be implemented on a voluntary basis, would augur well for Malaysia's efforts to instil a novel approach in the production of premium quality palm oil with the concept of sustainability.
Implementation of the codes, which incorporated several elements of hygiene, food safety and quality, and traceability, was important in view of the growing food safety concerns among the importing countries, he told Bernama in an interview.
"These codes are actually system tools for the industry to implement and can assist it to comply with the requirements of food safety and quality," he said.
"Most importing countries have stringent regulations on food safety for incoming raw materials for food. Since palm oil is one of the raw materials for food, Malaysia has to comply with these requirements," he added.
At the moment, there are no specific system tools or guidelines for the local palm oil industry.
The codes will cover for the whole range of oil palm cycle, including Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Oil Palm Estates and Smallholdings, Code of Manufacturing Practices for Palm Oil Mills, Code of Good Refining Practice for Palm Oil Refineries, Code of Good Practice for Palm Kernel Crushers, and Code of Good Practice for Storage and Transport of Processed Palm and Palm Kernel Oil in Bulk.
Mohd Basri said with the codes, the final palm-based product could be traced back to the estate or smallholdings where it was produced.
He also said that before implementing the codes, MPOB would assist the industry through roadshows and briefings.
Mohd Basri said a unit on certification would be set up to carry out audits of the codes.
Implementation of the codes could assist the industry in sustaining and developing trade and market accessibility internationally, he said.