Cambodia and Australia inaugurated a new Food Innovation Partnership on September 22, aimed at assisting agri-food small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing products that meet food safety standards and broadening their market reach.

The partnership is designed to level the playing field for the Kingdom’s SMEs and provide them with the necessary resources to succeed, both locally and internationally.

The collaboration will be funded by the Kingdom through Khmer Enterprise (KE) and Australia via the Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED). The initiative is set to cooperate with various educational institutions, including the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), National University of Battambang (NUBB) and Kampong Speu Institute of Technology (KSIT).

The partnership is structured around three main work streams. The first – Food Innovation Fund – will offer financial support to SMEs for product development, market reach improvement and compliance with food safety standards.

The second stream focuses on the Food Innovation Service Sector, assisting SMEs in accessing services such as food processing, technology, market information, branding and packaging. Lastly, the Agri-food Innovation Summit will serve as a platform for SMEs, researchers and other stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas on food innovation.

Australian ambassador Justin Whyatt expressed his government’s commitment to the project, stating: “[We are] committed to supporting the development of a vibrant agri-food sector that contributes to adaptable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Cambodia.”

Chhieng Van Munin, the CEO of KE, noted that the initiative aligns with its vision for the nation’s SMEs: to enhance market potential, create equal opportunities and provide the resources necessary for success.