The Paris-based supermarket BAO Le Marché (Bao) has been looking for long-term deals with Cambodian rice suppliers, an official said.
The representatives of the supermarket visited Cambodia and identified its top four potential rice suppliers in the country.
The visit started in February this year with support from EuroCham Cambodia, the official said, adding that the sorting was based on the Bao’s preference for the company’s size, years of experience, capability to export, and certificates of export.
Uksa Noun, senior analyst at EuroCham Cambodia, told Khmer Times that Bao plans to import on a quarterly basis after its representatives recently monitored the production capacity.
They tested the quality of products and witnessed the packaging process of the suppliers at their rice production sites and offices in Phnom Penh.
“Cambodia is the first one on the list due to the favourable tariff. Bao believes Cambodia has the most perfumed rice, fewer pesticides, and an export reputation with competitive prices compared to its neighbours,” Uksa said.
The four suppliers met the representatives of Bao, who earlier had a bitter experience with one Cambodian rice company, said Uksa. The first round of shipment is expected to arrive in France in November.
“The meetings were a success, and we wish Bao the best of luck as it formalises agreements with the potential suppliers. We look forward to supporting more European SMEs to explore the Cambodian market and hope that there will soon be at least one more shipping container bringing Cambodian products to Europe,” a release said.
Thomas Hesketh, deputy executive director of EuroCham Cambodia, told Khmer Times that Cambodian government’s effective control of Covid-19 pandemic has been able to high interest from European businesspeople to explore business opportunities and partnerships in the country.
“As EuroCham ourselves we’ve been very happy to see European companies that were considering the Cambodian market before Covid, now returning again, and this is in no small part down to the country’s highly effective vaccination campaign,” Thomas said.
Lun Yeng, secretary-general of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), told the newspaper that he welcomed the news, and that about 10,000 tonnes of Cambodia’s rice are being sold in supermarkets and department stores in France.
Cambodia exported about 62,000 tonnes of rice to France in the first quarter of this year, an increase of around 50 percent from nearly 30,000 tonnes in the same period last year, while European countries imported about 106,000 tonnes in the January-June period of 2022, a 32 percent rise, according to Yeng.
“Exporters of Cambodian rice have reached most of the markets in France of all sizes. So, we wish the plan materialises because it would provide more benefits to the rice industry of our country,” he said.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.