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Published on 01/09/2011

Protected Geographical Indications: A Development Tool for Cambodia

On April 2, 2010, His Excellence Cham Prasidh, State Minister, Minister of Commerce, delivered the registration certificates for the first two protected geographical indications recognized in Cambodia to the Chairmen of the Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu sugar inter-professional associations.

This recognition rewards the efforts of professionals to define and control the quality of their products and organize themselves to promote their products’ unique qualities.

Since 2007, GRET has been providing the Ministry of Commerce with assistance establishing regulations to govern Geographical Indications (GIs) in Cambodia [https://www.gret.org/activites/result_long.asp?pays=&domaine=&type=&mot=IG&Submit=Rechercher&cle=1037], and helping professionals organize to obtain them. The two inter-professional associations are active but still young, and the management procedures for these signs of quality are relatively complex. For this reason, GRET continues to provide them with support in the framework of the “Food Facility” project financed by the European Union in Cambodia.

Within their inter-professional organizations, farmers are also attempting to organize co-operatives to take better advantage of the value added made possible by the GIs. With pepper, for example, the quality product sold under the GI label goes for five dollars per kilogram, compared to only three dollars per kilogram for a standard product sold to traditional collectors. Sugar producers are also attempting to form a co-operative to be able to provide large quantities of quality sugar. This approach is also supported by the French International Solidarity Committee (CFSI). [http://www.cfsi.asso.fr/index.aspx?IdItem=29&IdDoc=179]

Finally, collaboration has been initiated between the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association and the Syndicat du Piment d’Espelette [http://www.pimentdespelette.com/qui-sommes-nous/le-syndicat/] so that producers can communicate with their French colleagues and obtain a concrete vision of how the Syndicat manages the GI in conjunction with producers. For instance, producers’ representatives and the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association’s employee will make their third visit to Espelette in October. In addition to the discussions with the association’s producers and staff, they will have an opportunity to promote Kampot pepper at the pepper festival that will take place during their visit. This action is supported by the Aquitaine Region.