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Cambodia hoping to spice up Swiss cheese with Kampot pepper

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:
The government seeks to expand the export markets for Kampot pepper. KT/Mai Vireak

Seeking to find new markets for Cambodia’s world-renowned Kampot pepper, the Ministry of Commerce held talks last week with Swiss dairy La Maison du Gruyere.

During a meeting Saturday with Eric Thevenod and Georges Magnin, representatives of La Maison du Gruyere, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak discussed the many attributes and uses of the famous Cambodian product, and suggested it will be a great addition to recipes used by the Swiss diary to concoct their cheeses.

The Swiss cheese producers said they will consider adding the pepper to their recipes, and promised to visit Kampot’s pepper farms while in Cambodia.

“If Kampot pepper is used to produce cheese in Europe, the market for this product will expand enormously,” Mr Sorasak told reporters.

Nguon lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, said he appreciated the minister’s efforts on behalf of the country’s pepper producers.

“Last year we collected 102 tonnes of pepper, so we need more export markets,” Mr Lay said, adding that about 70 percent of total production will be shipped overseas, while the remaining pepper will be sold domestically.

“Our biggest market is the European Union, followed by the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. We already export to Switzerland, but only small amounts.”

In 2016 Kampot pepper was awarded geographical indication (GI) status by the European Union, becoming the first Cambodian product to earn the status in Europe.

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