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Push to Promote Local Products

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Local producers are hoping to get this sort of display for their goods in supermarkets around the country. Supplied

Supermarket owners are to be called for a meeting with the Commerce Ministry in response to complaints from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that local products are not displayed or sold on their shelves, the commerce minister said yesterday at the launch of a campaign to promote local goods.
Newly appointed Commerce Minister Pan Sorsak said that to promote Cambodian products and to raise awareness about Cambodian products with consumers, the ministry will invite all big supermarket owners to a meeting aimed at finding a solution to allowing local products to be sold and displayed in their supermarkets.
He added that the ministry will ask commerce departments in 25 provinces to talk to supermarket owners and ask them to stock more local goods.
“I think some supermarket owners already have Cambodian products to sell and display on their shelves. For example, AEON mall. However, we have to talk to all supermarket owners to find a solution to this problem,” Mr. Sorsak said.
Keo Mom, president of Cambodia Women Entrepreneur Association (CWEA) and CEO of LY LY Food Industry, said one of the biggest challenges for local manufacturers is that it is difficult to find a proper place to sell and display local products. Some supermarkets and mini-marts discriminate against local products by not selling them in their shops, she said.
“Now Cambodian products seem to be discriminated against or outlets have limited amounts of local products on display or for sale. Some supermarkets allow only foreign products to be displayed or for sale,” Ms. Keo Mom said.  
“Some supermarkets demand we pay a higher price for rental space for a good location to display or sell Cambodian products, while some local manufacturers are not able to afford rental prices,” she added.
Ms. Keo Mom called on the government to find good locations to display and sell local products to local people and foreigners because both local and foreign consumers find it hard buy local products.  
“We are calling on the government to provide us with a specific location to display and sell local products to local and foreign consumers because the majority of local and foreign consumers find it difficult to find a specific place to purchase Khmer products,” she said.
Sok Ly, the Deputy Export Director of Kirirom Food Production, a local manufacturer, also called on the Commerce Ministry to take strong measures to boost local products and get them recognized by local and foreign consumers to ensure they can trust local products.
“If the government is not pushing local products, our Khmer goods will not progress because Cambodian products are not fully recognized by Cambodian people since they think local products lack quality, therefore, they choose foreign products,” Ms. Sok Ly said.
Commerce Minister Mr. Sorsak said the ministry will try to find ways to boost local products in the market.
“We are thinking of finding a specific place for local manufacturers to display and sell their products, and we will create a food safety law and another law to protect the citizen’s health from fake products in the market.
“We will cooperate with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft and other stakeholders on this issue,” Mr. Sorsak said.

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