New forum to raise trust in local produce

October 24, 2017, Chea Vannak / Khmer Times,

A national forum on the development of the agribusiness sector will be held in December in Siem Reap.

With displays showcasing some of the best products Cambodia has to offer, the event seeks to bump up confidence in the “made in Cambodia” brand.

The four-day forum is an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce to reduce the country’s dependency on food imports by encouraging local businesses to stock more locally-grown products.

Vegetable and fruit producers from across the nation are expected to display their products.

Soeng Sophary, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, stressed the importance of these type of fairs in connecting producers and encouraging an exchange of information among them.

“Through this fair and expo we want to connect producers so they can learn from one another, particularly when it comes to the more technical aspects of growing and processing their products,” Ms Sophary said.

Ms Sophary added that demand for local products was on the rise, with an increasing number of local companies sending their products abroad.

Keo Vichet, the CEO of Natural Gold Palm Sugar, said his company will join the forum in December, adding that trust in local products is growing rapidly.

“Increasing support for local produce is due to governmental efforts in organising events to promote the ‘made in Cambodia’ brand, but also a result of better standards of quality among producers,” Mr Vichet said.

“Cambodian products are now better in both quality and packaging. But challenges faced by locally-made products are still manifold, including the high cost of water and electricity, the dearth of skilled labour and the complex process involved in acquiring licences,” he added.