Palm oil producer Musim Mas Group expects that there will be more demand for certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), as the company is ready to provide the market with sustainable palm oil and its derivative products.
“Currently the world’s demand for certified palm oil is only half of current production. The European Union is so far the largest market,” Musim Mas Group head of sustainability Gan Liang Tiong told a gathering on Tuesday afternoon.
The world’s current production of CSPO stands at about six million tons, with Indonesia contributing half.
Musim Mas Group has so far produced 477,000 tons, or some 15.9 percent of Indonesia’s total production. The company produces 600,000 tons of palm oil per year.
“The problem is we produce a lot consumption is still small,” Gan said. “This is because CSPO is more expensive that non-certified palm oil.”
The EU was the major market consuming sustainable palm oil, urging palm oil producers in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries to produce sustainable palm oil through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
However, the current prolonged crisis in the eurozone has raised the question of whether EU countries would be willing to pay a premium for CSPO. Gan said that EU countries were showing a committment to switch to CSPO by 2015.
“We welcomed Carrefour Indonesia’s move of buying CSPO for its ECOplanet brand cooking oil,” he said.
Production director Allan Southworth said that the palm oil producer had delivered all of the 30 tons of sustainable cooking oil that Carrefour bought under its own brand.
“We welcome other retailers willing to buy sustainable cooking oil because we do not have an exclusivity agreement with Carrefour,” he said.
When asked whether Carrefour would place an additional order, Southworth said it would depend on the reception. “We will have to wait and see.”
Carrefour is in talks with other countries such as China, India, Malaysia and Taiwan to also sell the sustainable cooking oil.
Southworth said that the company expected all of its mills and plantations to be RSPO-certified by the end of this year.
Musim Mas Group was the first company in Indonesia to join the RSPO in 2004, and the first to get RSPO certification on Jan. 6, 2009.
The company also boasts that its small-holder schemes were certified in March 2011, another first for Indonesia.
Other derivative products from Musim Mas include fatty alcohol, oleochemicals and biodiesel, while the end products include candles, margarines and soaps.
“We are expecting to get our Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification soon,” Southworth said.
He said the company was audited for certification on May 18-25, with the files benig submitted to the ISPO Committee for assesment on June 15.