29/08/2007 (The Star Online), KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's continued access to the world palm oil market will depend on the industry’s innovative strategies, branding and effective brand support services.
Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron said new strategies needed to be pursued to broaden the local industry’s revenue, given increasing competition from other world producers.
He said Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina, which had huge tracts of land for further expansion in their oilseeds cultivation, were getting more cost competitive.
Malaysia, on the other hand, was constrained by limited agriculture land, except in Sabah and Sarawak, and was highly dependent on imported labour.
“The local industry should look at increasing yield, productivity and reinvestment in downstream activities to maintain its world competitiveness,” Yusof told participants at the on-going MPOB’s International Palm Oil Congress 2007 (PIPOC 2007) yesterday.
He said industry players should aggressively venture into new value-added products.
Yusof said the emergence of the biofuel industry had created a new market for palm oil.
“It (biofuel industry) will help palm oil fetch a remunerative price, which closely correlates with the price of petroleum-based products,” he added.
With petroleum resources depleting, the price of the commodity would likely remain high and similarly, CPO prices would be remuneratively high in the future, Yusof said.
Meanwhile, Johor Corp chief executive Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said corporate social responsibility (CSR) would be widely adopted by plantation companies.
“As the oil palm sector enters a new frontier, CSR will be integrated into business practices, based on ethical values and respect for the communities and the environment.”
He said industry players would need to deliver value to society at large and all stakeholders.