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Local produce certified organic for EU market

A store attendant arranges produce in a display fridge last year at the Khmer Cooperative Organic shop in Phnom Penh.
A store attendant arranges produce in a display fridge last year at the Khmer Cooperative Organic shop in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Local produce certified organic for EU market

An international certification body has granted its first European Union organic certificate to Cambodian fruits and vegetables, clearing a hurdle for their export to the EU market, German development agency GIZ announced yesterday.

Ten Ra, technical adviser for trade facilitation and standards at GIZ, said that the Khmer Organic Cooperative, a collective of smallholder farmers, was granted the organic certification earlier this month. He added that this recognition would help locally grown organic produce to reach international markets.

“This is the first time that Khmer Organic received EU certification, and this shows that we can develop organic projects that promote food safety,” he said without identifying the certification body.

Ra said the cooperative’s 24-hectare farm in Preah Sihanouk province was granted organic certification for 58 types of fruits and vegetables, while its other pilot farm in Koh Kong province has yet to receive certification.

GIZ, which runs the Southeast Asian Food Trade (SAFT) project, entered a public-private partnership agreement with Khmer Organic in September of 2016, providing the cooperative with $112,000 in funding.

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