PRODUCERS of Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu palm sugar said Sunday they are still waiting to hear if their goods will be registered as Geographical Indicator (GI) products.
Sam Saroeun, president of the Cambodian Sugar Association, said: “We are waiting anxiously to see if our palm sugar has gained GI status, because we have taken more than two years to prepare the bid.” He added that his group had suggested the Ministry of Commerce could speed up the process.
Applications for GI status are made to the ministry, which then decides which products to grant status to. It received the applications for Kampot Pepper and Kampong Speu palm sugar in October.
Sam Saroeun said the association’s membership has increased to 162, from 142 last year, and more farmers are expected to join if the association gains the quality mark.
“We expect to see production rise to around 400 tonnes, from 333 tonnes last year,” he said.
Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Farmers’ Association, said the government has also still not confirmed the pepper’s GI status.
He said that late last month, despite the lack of GI, Farmlink and other buyers agreed to raise the price of white pepper from US$10 to $12.5 per kilogram, $8 to $10.5 for red pepper, and $5 to $5.75 for black pepper.
“We are not having any problems in selling the pepper, even though GI status has not been officially granted,” he said.