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Monday, September 15, 2014


We reported on this 9-month long project earlier in the year (see "White Gold"). It has been funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and the European Union (EU).

The work has now reached a successful close with a second workshop in Phnom Penh held at the Sofitel on 11th September 2014. Overall the research on international markets for Cambodian high quality rice (especially the Phka Malis jasmine rice) meshes with a number of initiatives being taken by the Government of Cambodia to develop and promote the Cambodian rice industry. An Asian Development Bank project will also start soon aimed at assisting with the further commercialization of the rice sector.

FoodWorks researchers Geoff Quartermaine Bastin and Eddie Vernon worked under the direction and excellent leadership of William Scott of Agland Investment Services Inc. covering the China and Singapore markets as well as providing a world market review. Michel Timsit of GEM of Paris covered France (in superb detail with a special consumer research element) and Germany while Bill Scott himself researched the USA and the Cote d'Ivoire. William Mott of Agland contributed extensively on branding strategy. These six countries were seen as being the most likely where Cambodia can increase its exports.

Here's a screen grab of an article published about the workshop that focuses on the results from the China market research; we also undertook market research in Singapore.

Full article at: China Rice Market

The workshop was well-attended, with over 100 people present during the day and 92 people staying for lunch. A significant portion of the audience (at least 80% or more) stayed for the entire event, which ended at approximately 5:15 in the afternoon.

The United States, France, and Germany were discussed in the early morning session. After coffee, China, Singapore, and Cote d’Ivoire were presented. All of the presentations were PowerPoint slides based on the graphs and tables found in the individual countries studies written by the consultants from the combined Agland Investment Services, FoodWorks and GEM team led by Mr. Scott.
William Scott Team Leader of the Agland Investment Services, FoodWorks and GEM business advisory team addressing the workshop.

In the afternoon, there was a session to discuss strategy issues confronting the newly formed Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) and the rice sector in Cambodia.

Creating a quality image for Cambodian rice appeared to be a priority for everyone in the room. The reality is that in the marketplace, Cambodian jasmine rice of the same (or better) quality as Thai Hom Mali sells at a price lower than the Thai rice. There was general agreement that in the long-term, a market of certification, similar to that developed for Thai Hom Mali, needs to be created for Cambodian rice. In addition, the meeting suggested that Cambodian rice needed to improve its price competitiveness and to establish a reputation for reliable, sustainable and consistent supply.

Each company participating in the seminar received a flash drive that contained PDF versions of the country studies and the strategic synthesis report. Copies of the main reports may be obtained from the CRF. Mr. Lun Yeng, Secretary General of CRF, served as the moderator during the entire day. Mr. Sok Puthyvuth, President of the CRF, was one of the key opening speakers to the Workshop.

A word of thanks to Madelaine Nelson of Agland: without her unstinting work on the text of the reports this project would never have got finished. Thanks!

Also for more information contact William Scott on email: