Premium Cambodian pepper shows how poor countries can successfully trade rural products

26 October 2015

Farmers from Kampot, Cambodia went to Italy to talk about how UNCTAD helped them spice up their business and make kampot pepper a success.

Kampot pepper
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Kampot pepper obtained the World Trade Organization’s geographical indication (GI) status in 2010, tying the quality of the product to its source. Kampot pepper is registered as collective Trademark in the EU – An application as GI in the EU is being prepared.

Milan Expo 2015Cambodian pepper farmers have spoken about how using geographical indications - the system by which a unique product is both protected and promoted using regional branding - has had direct economic benefits, allowing the farm to hire more people and pay them better wages by raising of the price of the premium kampot pepper it produces.

The managers of Starling Farm, in Kampot province, southwestern Cambodia, shared their experience with geographical indication system, and the technical assistance that UNCTAD provided in this matter, at the World Assembly of Geographical Indications in Milan, Italy on 12 October 2015.

The Italian government organized the event as part of EXPO 2015. 

The aim was to boost the debate on geographical indications - of which Italian producers have been leading exponents - and their role in global agricultural and food value chains.

The event brought together institutions, organizations, research institutes, representatives of producers and other stakeholders to share experience and knowledge on the main topics concerning the geographical indication system.

UNCTAD representatives presented the organization's experience in promoting products from rural communities in least developed countries, such as Cambodia, through the use of geographical indications. A number of workshops have been held in Cambodia where the use of geographical indications has gained a reputation - particularly in the cases of kampot pepper and palm sugar.

The Cambodian national authorities have also shown an interest in expanding the geographical indication denomination to more products to promote inclusive and sustainable development. In collaboration with the Cambodian authorities, UNCTAD has carried out field investigations in order to identify potential candidate products for geographical indication denomination.

UNCTAD has also provided assistance in supply-side capacity building through geographical indications by organizing workshops and training courses in Bhutan, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Mozambique.