Enterprise Eyes Foreign Market after Best Cashew Win

Oung Kosal, Secretary of State of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries presents 1st place certificate to Loeng Ravuth. Photo: Chhum Chantha

PHNOM PENH – Winners of a best processed cashew nut contest are looking to expand their product to foreign markets, especially those with free trade agreements with Cambodia.

The contest started in May and saw 20 cashew nut processing enterprises entering the three-round competition. 

Department of Ago-Industry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, set out criterion include management, infrastructure, raw cashew nut supplier linkage and control, processing handling standards and hygiene, packaging and labeling, market access and strategy, economic analysis and women’s encouragement and livelihood improvement.

During the award ceremony on June 7, Loeng Manut Chamkarleu enterprise from Kampong Cham’s Chamkarleu district took first place, second place went to 3 Cors Eco and third place to Chey Sambo Handcraft, both from Kampong Thom province.

Loeng Manut Enterprise will export more processed nuts to countries such as China and South Korea or to Europe, said Loeng Ravuth, its deputy director. Cambodia signed free trade agreements with China in 2020 and with South Korea in 2022.

Ravuth said the enterprise will also expand the domestic market since the production capacity is also increasing, with 20 tonnes processed in the first six months of the year.

Chem Thida, co-founder of 3 Cors Eco, said her enterprise aims to develop different tastes using home-grown ingredients which could be of customer interest. 

She said that 3 Cors Eco is working with local farmers to meet quality and safety requirements and other standards before exporting to Turkey and Taiwan in 2025, France in 2026, US and Arab states in 2027. Current capacity 60 tonnes per year but they plan to produce five tonnes a day in 2025.

Inn Laihout of Chey Sambo Handcraft said that Japan is her main destination while 70 percent of the product supplies the local market. She said that the main challenge is lack of capital to support the processing. 

Ministry of Agriculture Secretary of State Oung Kosal said local processing for cashew nut is still limited with 90 percent of the nuts exported. Only 10 percent were processed locally.

He said exports faced hurdles including cost competitiveness, food safety requirements and credible standards management. 

Local processing enterprises have been working to meet the requirements.

He said the contest gave local processors a chance to push for development in the industry, promote competition and show techniques and skills in processing the nuts. 

Cambodia exported $837 million worth of raw cashew nuts in 2023, a year-on-year decrease of 16.9 percent. Some 618,000 tonnes, or 94.2 percent, were shipped to Vietnam. 

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