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Kampot pepper gets EU protection

The European Union has officially entered the name “Kampot pepper” into its register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indicators, the EU’s official gazette reported this week.

The statement said the names “Mrech Kampot” and “Poivre de Kampot” were entered into the EU’s registry on February 5, with the regulation to enter into force in early March.

Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA), said the EU’s recognition of Kampot pepper’s geographical indication (GI) would help protect the growing international brand name of the product.

He said many peppercorns not produced according to the stringent requirements of the GI label were harming its marketing efforts.

“It was really important [to secure EU registration], as our product is well known in Europe, yet much of what is found there is not produced by our association’s members,” Lay said.

KPPA is the sole body licensed to produce and export peppercorns labelled as Kampot pepper. Its members produced 60 tonnes of pepper last year, of which 70 per cent was exported.

The EU is the biggest market. Kampot pepper was registered in Thailand and Vietnam last year to protect the brand name there from fakes, Lay added.

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