Palm sugar GI status in EU hits a glitch

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodia is now applying for GI status with the EU for its famous palm sugar. Supplied

The process of obtaining geographical indication (GI) status for Kampong Speu palm sugar in the European Union suffered a setback this week after a company asked for revisions to the wording of the product’s guidebook, according to a producers association.

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Sam Saroeun, president of the Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association, said a Swiss company asked for changes in the guidebook, but Cambodia did not immediately comply.

“We had a meeting recently at the Ministry of Commerce over the issue. A sugar company in Switzerland asked for revisions of some technical words in the guidebook, but we did not agree to follow their request immediately. Instead, we tried to explain the contested clauses to the EU,” Mr Saroeun said.

This will delay the process of registering the product for GI status, said Mr Saroeun.

Khmer Times could not reach the Intellectual Property Department for comment yesterday.

At the beginning of the year, Op Rady, director of Intellectual Property, said palm sugar should be granted GI status before April if everything went according to plan.

Thailand and Vietnam have already given the product GI status, which prevents unscrupulous traders from passing fake versions of their products as genuine Cambodian goods.

In 2016, Kampot pepper became the first Cambodian product to get GI status from the EU.

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