China’s appetite for Cambodian mangoes grows amid surge in demand for imported ‘premium’ fruit

Cambodian mangoes were once labelled ‘Made in Vietnam’ before being exported to China. Farmers are banking on the China-Cambodia FTA to change this.

Mangoes are a matter of national pride for Cambodian farmer Chum Chamm.

For years, Chamm, who grows mangoes in the well-known Kampong Speu province, witnessed Vietnamese traders come to Cambodian farms to cut deals for entire harvests of the fruit. They often brought their own workers to pick and pack the fruit in brown paper, labelling the packages in Chinese, before sending them to mainland China and the rest of the region.

“We’re farmers and we have nothing to do with transportation. But it upset me when Vietnamese traders put a ‘Made in Vietnam’ label on our Cambodian products,” the 43-year-old told This Week in Asia at his farm 90km west of the capital Phnom Penh.

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