Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Collective rice trademark set to boost confidence, exports

Collective rice trademark set to boost confidence, exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Samples of milled and paddy Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul (DSMK) rice on display at the launch of the collective trademark. Heng Chivoan

Collective rice trademark set to boost confidence, exports

The collective trademark of Sen Kra’op (SKO) fragrant rice and Damnoeb Sbai Mongkul (DSMK) Cambodian premium glutinous rice was inaugurated to increase exporters’ confidence and boost exports of milled rice to the global markets.

At the inauguration, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak hailed the registration process of the two classes of rice, under a single collective trademark, as a sign of progress for the Cambodian rice sector at all levels, from the actors involved in the preparation of the seeds, to those who sell the grain to end consumers.

The minister noted that SKO short-term variety, with growth period of 115-120 days, plays an important role in export.

He assured that the ministry pays equal attention to all segments of the rice sector, whether its exports or the plight of smallholder farmers. The ministry strives to help smallholders prepare themselves better, especially by promoting markets on their behalf.

This includes contract farming between them and the rice mills via the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) project – jointly created by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government.

“Although the global landscape is affected by Covid-19, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has led to the price increase in fertilisers, pesticides and fuel, I am confident that this difficult situation will be resolved.

“[And] our milled rice exports will increase further in line with what is being done now, [as well as] building consumer confidence through the SKO-DSMK collective trademark,” he said.

“Collective trademarks” are intellectual property (IP) assets based on an underlying ecosystem of businesses, merchants and professionals from the same industry or geographical region that typically pool resources, share information and provide other benefits among members.

Registration of these trademarks is handled by the commerce ministry, which also grants ownership to a managing organisation. The SKO-DSMK collective trademark is owned by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).

General Directorate of Agriculture chief Ngin Chhay said that at present, SKO-01, the first-generation of SKO rice, is popular all over Cambodia, as it provides high yield, is aromatic and of good quality, and is soft and delicious.

He suggested that SKO-01 offers the best value for money among rice cultivars, and is in high demand on the international market.

“Through the collective trademarks development programme, I hope and believe that it will help drive greater clarity for the milled rice market in Cambodia.

“This would help encourage farmers to cultivate it, to meet the market demand for exporters, especially the Cambodia Rice Federation, to promote and attract buyers on the international market,” he said.

CRF chairman Hun Lak said the two brands have been given high priority and were approved as the “fastest-ever growing” collective trademark to be registered in Cambodia.

He underscored that the establishment of these trademarks is the most important thing to build trust with customers as well as farmers, as some growers face difficulty selling their paddy rice during the harvest season.

It is apparently due to lack of clear source of market demand and exporters not having specific information from farmers.

“Establishing these milled rice brands will benefit us in the medium and long term, requiring us to work harder and bridge the information gap between market demand, production and exporters, and millers and farmers.

“We hope that the new collective trademark will help boost exports even more,” he said.

Suon Chhoeun, a farmer of the district agricultural development cooperative of Kampong Cham province’s Prey Chhor district, told The Post that his cooperative at one time grew SKO-01, back before the existence of clear definitions for the variety.

“The collective trademark registration of the Sen Kra’op 01 rice cultivar will encourage farmers to once again plant this variety, which is globally recognised,” he said, sharing that his cooperative has been cultivating Phka Romduol rice in the meantime.

Year-to-June 19, Cambodia has exported 310,000 tonnes of milled rice, valued around $191 million, to foreign markets via 53 companies, representing a year-on-year increase of 21.73 per cent in terms of tonnage, the CRF reported.

Of that amount, 41.62 per cent comprised premium fragrant milled rice, Sen Kra’op (22.42 per cent), white rice (33.12 per cent), parboiled and organic rice at 1.42 per cent each.

For 2022, CRF forecasts that exports would hit 750,000 tonnes, rising by roughly one-fifth from the 617,069 tonnes recorded in 2021.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,