According to one of the reports that at the close of the three-day annual Cambodia Rice Forum , the Commerce Minister Mr Sun Chanthol suggested that the first-rate rice brand set to be launched on the international market in this year be marketed as “Extra Premium” jasmine rice. Exporters have long marketed their rice under a range of brand names and varietals, but the ministries of commerce and agriculture, as well as the Cambodia Rice Federation, have been pushing for a singular trademark as the country seeks to expand exports. In this regard, Mr. Chanthol met with British trade envoy Mr David Puttnam and tried to push for the branding of “Phka Romduol”—a varietal that has reaped global awards for years. However, now it was suggested to come up with a catchier name for the international market.
Further, speaking on the matter, Mr. Chanthol offered another possibility that propose an ‘Extra Premium Cambodia Jasmine Rice”, but we have to conduct a study on the market effect of the brand and there is a need to spend money to promote the brand of our rice. If we do not spend money, then our rice will not be well- known as it was told. The commerce minister revealed that he would meet with members of the rice federation and other industry players to discuss the possible branding as well as fundraising. In this regard, Mr Song Saran, CEO of rice exporter Amru Rice, told that he liked the new name and felt that, it was fitting for rice that won “World’s Best Rice” at the World Rice Conference in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Furthermore, it has also been highlighted that the name of the rice should be unique and fit the quality of the Cambodian rice. So, his suggestion is correct because we have won the best rice status for three years and it fits these achievements. But the Ministry of Agriculture, which has long pushed for the branding of Phka Romduol was not convinced. However, Mr Hean Vanhan, Deputy Director of the ministry’s general directorate of agriculture, indicated that he did not believe the proposed brand would help the country’s rice market. It is rather, one should show the buyers that this is Phka Romduol rice, and it is Phka Romdeng rice while this is Phka Romeat rice, because it is the right of the buyers to choose any of them, according to Mr. Vanhan. Moreover, the value is not in the name ‘extra’ or ‘super,’ the value is that buyers can notice what rice they eat and will seek to buy it again next time too, it was added.