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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Products edge closer to GI status

Products edge closer to GI status

Feasibility studies on achieving Geographical Indication status for Thma Koul rice, Kampot durian and Cambodian golden silk have been completed, officials said yesterday.

Ouk Prachea, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said the ministry was waiting for the results of the studies done by experts from the UN Conference on Trade and Development in three provinces. He could not give a specific date as to when results would be made available.

“Experts have conducted feasibility studies on the products in the three provinces to determine the potential and the possibility to put them into GI status,” Prachea said.

“Regarding who will continue to fund the project, we need to wait for the result to come out,” he added.

Prachea said, last May, that registering one product for GI status is estimated to cost around $1 million.

The World Trade Organization’s GI status authenticates for buyers and consumers that a product is produced in a specific geographical area, thereby assuring its quality.

But obtaining a GI status is not an easy process. Producers must first form an association to clearly define the product’s characteristics and lay out a unique set of rules regarding the cultivation of the product within the designated area. An external body must then step in to certify the quality of the resulting product.

Song Saran, CEO and president of AMRU rice and CRF board member, said achieving GI status for Cambodia’s Thma Koul rice would allow Cambodia to enter higher value markets and would make promoting the rice internationally an easier task.

“It will help boost Cambodian rice exports and the higher value will increase margins for farmers and exporters. With GI status, it will take exporters less effort to promote rice to buyers,” he said.

Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu palm sugar are the only Cambodian products to hold the status. They have both seen a boost in demand since gaining GI recognition.

Song Saran, CEO and president of AMRU rice and CRF board member, said achieving GI status for Cambodia’s Thma Koul rice would open up new markets for Cambodian rice.

“It will help boost Cambodian rice exports and the higher value will increase margins for farmers and exporters. With GI status, it will take exporters less effort to promote rice to buyers,” he said.

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