Government to Endorse National Organic Produce Standard

The Agriculture Ministry will soon adopt a national standard for organic vegetable production to create product consistency and a single yardstick for farmers to work toward, according to officials.

A logo that will mark the products as government-approved organics has been designed, and a draft law by which the produce quality will be measured is nearly complete, said Kean Sophea, deputy director of the ministry’s department of horticulture.

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Produce marked as organic is displayed on a shelf in Caritas Cambodia in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Hang Sokunthea/The Cambodia Daily)

“If we look at organic vegetables in Cambodia, we have seen a large increase, and now there are also many organic shops around,” he said during a news conference at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office on Wednesday.

“But there are some issues due to a law not yet being adopted,” he added. “We can’t say if those are truly organic vegetables or not.”

Mr. Sophea added that according to industry statistics, 3 tons of organic vegetables were sold daily in Phnom Penh during 2013, rising to 20 tons last year, compared to government estimates of between 500 and 600 tons of non-organic vegetables.

The logo and draft law would be sent to top ministry officials for approval by next month, he


Mayling Flores Rojas, regional officer for FAO, said a unified national standard would simplify the process of organic farming by eliminating varying expectations—and “having those differences can be confusing for consumers as well,” she said.

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