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Pig skin to kick off leather industry

Pigs at a Cambodian pig farm in 2011. Mong Reththy Group is constructing Cambodia's first pig leather factory, which will use imported pig skins.
Pigs at a Cambodian pig farm in 2011. Mong Reththy Group is constructing Cambodia's first pig leather factory, which will use imported pig skins. Heng Chivoan

Pig skin to kick off leather industry

Agro-industrial giant Mong Reththy Group is finalising construction on the Kingdom’s first pig skin processing factory and expects production to begin by the end of the year, a company executive said yesterday.

Mong Reththy Group and an unnamed Chinese partner have invested $30 million in the joint project over the past year, according to Tan Monivann, the group’s vice president.

He said the factory, located at the group’s private port in Preah Sihanouk province, would process imported pig skins to produce leather for the European market.

“The plant will be finished within the next three months, and processing will start by the end of the year,” he said, adding that the factory would initially employ 500 workers.

While the Mong Reththy Group operates its own commercial pig farm, Tan said the hogs it raises were not suitable for pig leather production. Instead, it will import pig skins from Japan and the EU to process into leather.

“We cannot use skins from our domestic pigs because they do not meet the standard size,” he said.

Hort Pheng, director of industrial affairs department at the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, said the group’s pig leather factory would be the first of its kind in Cambodia.

“It will not only give jobs to Cambodians, but will also teach them how to make leather,” he said, adding that the Kingdom’s first cow leather factory was currently under construction in Takeo province.

Monivann said Mong Reththy Group might consider adding a production line for cow leather, but pig leather “fetches more value.”

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