In a bid to increase consumer trust in locally made products and build up the made-in-Cambodia brand, a new government directive is urging businesses in the kingdom to apply for a recently launched quality label for local products.
The directive, issued last Wednesday, bears the signature of Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh.
“Owners of factories and enterprises and producers of handicrafts that meet our quality standards are encourage to apply for the ‘label of Cambodian quality’ at the One Window Service Office of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft,” the directive said.
Ministry spokesman Oum Sotha explained that the new label aims to promote Cambodian products, which, he said, are generally considered to have lower quality than products from other countries.
“With this initiative we are not targeting local consumers. It is aimed at international buyers,” he said, adding that products that bear the label will sell better abroad.
“The label guarantees that the product meets rigorous quality requirements and is on par with foreign products. Officials from the ministry will test each product to make sure it meets their quality standards.”
To secure the label, each product will be tested for a variety of factors, including quality and packaging.
Mr Sotha added that securing the label is optional, and that there is no deadline to begin the application process.
Chour Chheng, director of Ky Siv Chheng Protein Food Enterprise, a local producer of dried meat, fruits and jams, told Khmer Times he believes the label will help local producers. “It is good to have the label, but the certificate fee in very expensive,” Mr Chheng said.
According to the directive, the application fee is set at $125 per item, with each certificate lasting for three years.
“I produce 10 different products, so I will have to pay around $1,250,”Mr Chheng lamented.