12 September 2019

Cambodia is making further strides in having its unique products obtain international Geographical Indication (“GI”) status. The Ministry of Commerce Cambodia (“MOC”) is engaging on a mission to encourage Cambodian farmers to make their unique products eligible to earn GI status. The MOC is not only assisting the farmers to protect their GI products locally but is assisting them to earn European Union (“EU”) status for those products as well.

Recently Koh Trung Pomelo became the third Cambodian product to obtain GI status, while the two existing products, Kampot Pepper and Kampong Speu Palm Sugar, were registered in 2010. According to the Minister of Ministry of Commerce, Pan Sorasak, Koh Trong Pomelo has been famous in Cambodia since the 1960s. It is a well-known traditional agricultural product located in Sangkat Koh Trung of Kratie province and is known for its sweetness as well as its lack of seeds when ripe. The area of planting spreads to 35 hectares and is under the control of Koh Trong Pomelo Producer Association, of which 155 members out of a total of 331, are families.

It is expected that the granting of GI status will help increase job opportunities and income to the local market. Earning GI status proves and establishes its high-quality standard and uniqueness thereby providing other advantages of avoiding market changes and risk from price competition.

Significantly, the product will now be able to reach the international market and recognition and as such, enhance profits as was the case with the two existing GI products.

Other agricultural and traditional products that Cambodia is considering and looking to have recognised and protected as a GI, both domestically and in the European Union, are Battambang Oranges, Battambang rice, Kampot salt, Phnom Srok silk of Banteay Meanchey province, Battambang fragrant milled rice, and Kampot durian.

Currently, the Ministry of Commerce is evaluating these products for domestic GI status and there are future plans to have them certified internationally with the help of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

With our experienced team, we can provide our clients with legal advice concerning any business transactions and legal agreements in relation to Koh Trong Pomelo and other IP matters in Cambodia and globally.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Khieu Mealy or Chhim Leakena of SokSiphana&associates (a member of ZICO Law).

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.


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