Cambodian pepper is the first of the Kingdom’s spices that has been granted formal approval to export directly to China.
The achievement marks a significant accomplishment for the agricultural sector, with at least seven private companies already applying for export licences for China.
The Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh announced on May 12 that on the previous day, the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC) had issued a list of companies and facilities which had met its import standards.
“This means that Cambodian peppercorn has completed all of the required procedures and can be exported directly to the Chinese market. Twenty-eight pepper plantations and seven packaging plants have been registered and licensed by the GAC,” said the embassy.
It added that the GAC and the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had carried out inspections of several pepper plantations and packaging plants on April 10-11 to ensure they met the required conditions.
Ministry spokeswoman Im Rachna said the opening of the Chinese market to Cambodian peppercorn marked a new success for the agricultural sector in general and for the pepper sector in particular.
“Peppercorn exports to European markets are well established, with Kampot pepper in particular enjoying popularity over there. However, we expect Chinese demand to grow rapidly as well,” she added.
“As long as Cambodia adheres to the principles of good agricultural practices [GAP] and sanitary and phytosanitary standards [SPS] set by China, we can export not only Kampot pepper, but pepper from throughout the Kingdom,” she explained.
She noted that fresh Cambodian longans were granted import permission by China late last year, and have proven to be popular with the Chinese public. Fresh mangos and bananas are also successful in China.
According to the ministry, in the first three months of this year, 822.65 tonnes of peppercorn was exported: 765 tonnes to Vietnam, 26.14 tonnes to the US, 16.2 tonnes to South Korea, 9.54 tonnes to France and 2.36 tonnes to Belgium. Smaller quantities went to Japan, India, and other Asia-Pacific markets.