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Malaysian Firm Launches Online Market for ‘Sustainable’ Palm Oil

A worker unloads palm oil fruit at a plantation in Slim River, Malaysia. Photo: Reuters


Malaysian tech firm DiBiz launched the world’s first online marketplace for sustainable palm oil on Tuesday to encourage sales of products certified as environmentally compliant as buyers have avoided the more expensive goods.

The trading platform, called Trustparent Marketplace, will link palm oil buyers and sellers across the supply chain and has additional measures for traceability to ensure the industry’s commitment to “No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation”.

“What this means is just like you go to Amazon to buy your products, now, every stakeholder in palm oil can come on to the Dibiz marketplace,” said DiBiz co-founder and chief executive officer UR Unnithan, who is also president of the Malaysian Biodiesel Association, said on the sidelines of an industry conference.

Critics blame the rapid expansion of palm plantations for rainforest deforestation and human rights abuses, prompting consumer boycotts against the edible oil.

But palm oil industry officials say such campaigns are hindering efforts to achieve sustainability certification and develop a market for certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).

About 14.6 million tonnes, or 19.3% of global palm oil produced is certified by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is seen as a global standard for sustainability claims.

However, planters in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s two largest palm oil producers, have complained that demand for the more expensive oil with CSPO certification is lacking despite investing millions to meet the requirements.


• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.


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