Handcrafted Cashew Nuts, a cashew processing enterprise based in Stung Treng province, has the opportunity to export their product to the UK market through the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), which came into force this month.
Muth Chakrya, owner of the company, said she has been working with partners in the UK, with the support of the British embassy in Phnom Penh and the Cambodian embassy in London.
Chakrya said the operation is still in the infant stages, so she is unsure how many tonnes would be exported. Samples were being prepared for the UK buyers to examine.
“Our processing is unique and follows food safety principles. We have sent our products to laboratories in the US and Japan, which have certified that they are of high quality and free of any harmful substances. This is why we are permitted to export to the UK,” she said.
“We are also preparing to export to South Korea, and have prepared one container load. We have also sent small shipments to the US and Singapore, just as a pilot and to survey the markets there. I am so happy for the British ambassador’s interest in our products, because this is an opportunity for us to expand,” she added.
Chakrya said her products are distributed throughout Cambodia, available in supermarkets at most tourist destinations, particularly Siem Reap.
Uon Silot, president of the Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC), congratulated Chakrya for securing this excellent opportunity, noting that the association always supports efforts to make the Kingdom’s cashews famous on the international stage.
“Hopefully we will be able to export more. The government is trying to secure investment capital for local enterprises, and is ceaseless in its search for new markets,” he said.
“We have opened several markets up, but we still lack investment capital. I believe that we will process a lot more cashews in the future. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) have met with the association to discuss this matter,” he added.
The preferential DCTS system came into force in April. Cambodia is among the 65 countries that will benefit from the favourable import taxes that the scheme allows.
The British embassy confirmed that the preferential system is very favourable for the export of several products, including cashews. The government is encouraging investment to increase processing facilities with the aim of establishing the Kingdom as a “cashew emperor” in the future.