Khmer Brewery (KB), a locally owned company that produces Cambodia Beer, has made its first export to Japan, partly in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call in mid-May for local food and beverage producers to push their products abroad.
KB public-relations manager Sok Chantha said yesterday the company was working with Japan’s largest food and beverage distributor, TBA Corporation, to be its distribution representative.
“TBA came to conduct tests on our products a few months ago before they decided to partner with us, as they said our quality is good enough for Japan. We sent our first export to a foreign market on July 5,” Chantha said.
He said the first export was just one container of 330 millilitre bottles of beer, or approximately 130 boxes.
At the official opening of the brewery, Hun Sen called on more local companies to produce foods and beverages that could be exported.
Beer exports account for about 40 per cent of Cambodia’s food and beverage exports, a US$1 billion industry last year.
Meng Saktheara, director- general of industry and secretariat of SME sub-committee, applauded KB for producing high-quality beer and exporting it to Japan.
“This means Khmer Brewery’s quality is recognised by Japan’s market, where there are very strict sanitation requirements for imported food,” he said.
“I really appreciate the company – we are proud, because it is the first company owned by Cambodians that not only creates more jobs for people but is working to reduce Cambodia’s trade deficit.
“Furthermore, it proves that we can compete with other imports. When we can export to foreign markets, it proves that our quality is recognised internationally.”
He said that Cambodia has exported a few beers before such as Angkor Beer, Kingdom Beer and now Cambodia Beer, and pointed out that the food and beverage processing industry has improved and can be compared to neighbouring countries.
Sok Chantha said that the company also plans to export to the United States and the EU.
Khmer Brewery produces 50 million litres of beer per year, and says it will expand to 200 million litres a year in the near future.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]