Sustainability, fair play and free trade in the modern world, Partnerships for the development of sustainability in Malaysia’s palm oil sector
Meine Pieter van Dijk


This contribution deals with sustainability of palm oil. What does sustainability mean and what are the challenges for palm oil in Malaysia? Which partnerships have been developed to further improve sustainability? Three partnerships for sustainable development will be analyzed, one government initiated partnership between the Malaysian, Indonesian and Netherlands government and two partnerships initiated by the private sector, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and one between private companies. The tool of partnerships was used to deal with sustainability issues and thereby improve access to the European market and to implement standards for sustainability. Malaysia has made great progress, but is still facing the risk of trade barriers for the export of its palm oil. Important factors that affect the effectiveness of partnerships are the governance mechanisms put in place to deal with sustainability of palm oil, the existence of an enabling environment for public-private collaboration and sector specific characteristics.

31 October, 2012
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