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.

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

said.

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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