With its “focus on quality”, local success story Sela Pepper Co Ltd continues to expand into new markets, exporting its products to many countries around the world.

Sela Pepper founder Soeng Sopha said that with the capturing of international markets down to its high quality, the company was constantly striving to strengthen excellence to meet international standards.

Sopha, who is also managing director of Sela Pepper, said her company has been awarded safety certificates and acquired international standards including BRC, Sedex (SMETA 4 Pillars) ISO 22000, ISO 140001, ISO 9001, OU and Halal, and Organic (EU, USDA and JAS).

Next year, Sela plans to adopt the Rain Forest Alliance standard, citing global concerns over climate change and market demands.

Sopha said Sela Pepper’s finished products appear in many markets – including in Japan, Poland, South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong – and multiple online platforms, while it also exports semi-finished products to Germany, Vietnam and Taiwan.

“In 2023, we plan to boost exports to China, Korea, Japan and the EU, and the company will continue to closely monitor our pepper farms to ensure the best quality products,” she said.

And Sopha said demand at home was also on the rise.

“We have seen a significant increase in the local market as people begin to better understand food safety and provide more support for local products.

“The growth in the food processing sector is also a factor in the greater demand in the local market,” she said.

Sela Pepper was constantly looking to improve the quality of its pepper, such as by monitoring cultivation and harvesting, as well as with training on maintenance, she added.

This also included recording the problems faced by farmers and addressing them, and improving technical skills and the processing of agricultural contracts in the pepper sector to result in high-quality products, as well as getting feedback on common issues regarding pepper.

She also hailed the efforts and support of the government to improve access to large markets, such as through the RCEP as well as bilateral FTAs with China, South Korea and another with the UAE which is currently under negotiations.

In Cambodia, there are about 6,000ha of pepper plantations in 18 provinces, of which many are in Tbong Khmum, Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri.