Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GI tag to create buzz around honey

GI tag to create buzz around honey

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mondulkiri wild honey collection could yield around 10-20 tonnes this year, much lower than the 60 tonnes logged in each of 2019 and 2020. WWF-CAMBODIA

GI tag to create buzz around honey

A long-awaited Geographical Indication (GI) certificate handover ceremony for “Mondulkiri wild honey” scheduled for April 6 was postponed in light of the February 20 community transmission.

Made in the northeastern province’s forested areas from the Apis dorsata bee, the Ministry of Commerce domestically registered the honey as a GI on January 29, improving prospects of a brighter future for the golden, viscous fluid.

Mondulkiri wild honey became the fourth domestic GI product after Kampot pepper, Kampong Speu palm sugar and Koh Trong pomelos.

Its newly acquired status offers protection for appellations of origin linked to specific geographical locations and associated qualities, reputations and characteristics. The designation also promotes knowledge transfer and skills development across generations.

Ministry spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post on April 6 that GI registration is an important tool to encourage the community to strengthen and expand productions chains, improve systematic quality control, produce high-quality products and access export markets.

“It’ll also help promote value-added Mondulkiri wild honey on the market. Most notably, its selling price will be higher and it’ll be recognised in domestic and international markets, which will provide an additional modest source of income for producers in the geographical area,” he said.

He noted that the status could also alleviate poverty if the honey is integrated into the greater One Village, One Product (OVOP) Movement – a government initiative to create jobs for locals, reduce migration and attract tourists.

Cambodian Institute for Research and Rural Development director Prak Sereyvath pointed out that the GI tag’s intellectual property rights protections and quality control processes would most likely drive up the prices of Mondulkiri wild honey.

On the other hand, orders from abroad will start flowing in, as efforts to preserve the traditional craft of honey-collection ramp up, indirectly contributing to environmental protection, he said.

“GI protection will allow [those who have the right to use the indication], particularly Mondulkiri wild honey collectors and consumers, to claim [the] withdrawal of counterfeit products from [the] market and [in] doing so provide more market share for [Mondulkiri] wild honey” and increase consumer interest in the product, he said.

Mondulkiri Wild Bee Conservation Association (MWBCA) president Kernh Bophat said members of the community would see more bang for their buck now with the GI status.

However, he noted that Mondulkiri wild honey collection would only yield around 10-20 tonnes this year, falling well short of the more than the 60 tonnes logged in each of 2019 and 2020.

“I don’t know why honey this year has fallen so much. The number of bees and flowers does not seem to have changed, it’s just a little warmer than last year,” he said.

Harvested between March and June each year, Bophat noted that Mondulkiri wild honey is characterised by its unique type of sweetness and fragrance, as well as its high viscosity.

He said the association buys honey from members at 60,000 riel ($15) per litre and resells it at 70,000-75,000 riel after removing moisture and wax.

According to Bophat, MWBCA currently has 11 wild bee collectors and 516 registered members.


  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement