Committed to improving the labor and human rights practices and policies of the Malaysian Palm Oil sector.
There has been widespread claims of poor labor practices in the Malaysian Palm Oil sector – from forced labor to child workers – levelled by the U.S. government and other stakeholders.
Some of these claims are grounded in facts; others are inaccurate. The Malaysian Palm Oil sector is not perfect, and we recognise this. The labor situation in the sector is highly challenging, the palm oil supply chain is complex and unfortunately at times this has been open to exploitation by bad actors.
Migrant labor is a common feature of agricultural systems, the world over, including in Malaysia. Whether in Europe, in the United States or palm oil in Malaysia, the need for laborers, with economic and social needs, is a challenge for industries and governments around the world.
Oil palm plantations in Malaysia are no different. We require a large labor force, due to the high productivity and high production levels of the crop. As a small, rapidly developing country, Malaysia’s domestic labor force cannot meet these needs: migrant labor is therefore an important element for Malaysia’s plantation companies and – especially – for our 300,000 small farmers who require assistance to work their land.
However, Malaysia has also been subject to misinformation on the issue of labor. It is important to correct some of these inaccuracies.
The Malaysian Palm Oil sector is governed by a modern and strong regulatory framework:
Malaysia’s major palm oil producers are doing their part too. They are signatories to international sustainability standards that are the strictest and most wide-ranging for any commodity, globally.
The Malaysian palm oil community understands that we must live up to the highest global labor rights standards, if we are to continue to successfully serve our customers in Asia-Pacific, India, Europe, the U.S., Middle East, and other international markets.
This means that questions about labor rights raised by any government, must be considered as global questions. They resonate across the supply chain. Our customers are global companies, with high labor rights standards that apply to all markets around the world.
The Malaysian palm oil sector is determined to live up to this responsibility. Our Commitment is to improve and reform labor rights standards, implement Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) rules, and work alongside our international partners to address any and all concerns that exist.