The government will issue a standard for the type of mango known as ‘keo romeat’, a move that seeks to bolster sales abroad as well as consumer trust on the product, a high-ranking official revealed yesterday.
Chan Sopha, deputy director general at the Institute of Standards of Cambodia, told Khmer Times that they are cooperating with farmers and other relevant stakeholders in the industry to establish the new standard, which entails collecting information on everything from size and colour to common diseases and pollutants.
“We want to make sure that our mangoes are safe for consumers and comply with regional and international regulation,” Mr Sopha said.
“Our goal is to help farmers and exporters,” he said, adding that the official document may be finished before the end of the year.
According to an early draft, the standard will be based on weight, size, grade and colour, as well as factors that relate to farming and processing, including commonly found chemical residues, hygiene standards in plantations and packaging conditions.
The new standard will be in accordance with World Trade Organization and Asean regulation when it comes to sanitary and phytosanitary standards, ensuring safety for the consumer.
Hean Vanhan, director general of the General Directorate of Agriculture, said the initiative will make Cambodian mangoes more recognisable abroad.
“It will help local exporters identify the mangoes they want to buy and it will facilitate negotiations with foreign buyers,” Mr Vanhan said.
The president of the Keo Romeat Mango Association in Kampong Speu, Oum Savoeun, said his association suggested to the ministry that the standard for weight should be set at between 200 to 250 grams.
He said the price of the fruit varies with the season, and that now unpackaged mangoes are fetching 800 riel a kilo in the market.
According to the Institute of Standards of Cambodia, the kingdom has so far adopted 830 standards for different products.