Cambodia’s sole exporter of cashew nuts to Japan is expected to resume shipments in mid-September, having sent its last shipment in March, before Tokyo began asking for an additional certificate, a requirement it had waived at the light of Covid-19, according to the business owner.
Working with Japanese company Top Planning Japan Co Ltd (TPJ), Chey Sambor Cashew Nut Processing Handicrafts – based in Kampong Svay district in the southwest of Kampong Thom province – started exporting last year organic processed cashews to the East Asian market and has since shipped over 45 tonnes.
However, Japanese authorities have started to enforce the requirement for an additional cashew nut certificate – to be issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – which declares that the quality and Product packaging conforms to the latest Japanese standards, according to The Post.
Chey Sambor Cashew Nut Processing Handicrafts owner In Lai Huot told the Post on Aug. 1 that she expects the certificate to be ready “in six weeks,” following a recent series of “passed” inspections of growing sites as well as processing and packaging. facilities involved in the production of the company’s goods, carried out in coordination with the Ministry and TPJ.
“Now we are just waiting for certification, because everything is ready,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia (CAC) President Uon Silot said heavy unseasonal rains in early 2022 caused yields and quality of cashew nuts to plummet, the one of the Kingdom’s most widely grown and potentially lucrative agricultural products, well below desired levels as well. compared to 2021.
He said the Kingdom has traditionally been self-sufficient in cashew production and annually exports processed nuts to the United States, Japan and European countries, as well as “several tons” of unprocessed nuts to Vietnam.
“Despite strong demand and large markets, investment in cashew cultivation and processing does not appear to be as great as that of some other agricultural products,” Silot lamented.
He said Chey Sambor would be the third company to receive quality certification that would allow formal exports of cashew nuts to the EU, after Ample Agro Product Co Ltd and Welwilling Agricultural Technology (Cambodia) Co Ltd. Silot expects this to happen “in six weeks”. as well.
And as a prerequisite for exporting to Japan, Chey Sambor has been certified as meeting Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) for organic products by an overseas accredited certification body, he noted.
Figures from the ministry show that Cambodia exported 937,974.26 tonnes of cashew nuts last year for a total of $1.60487 billion, up 328.34% in tonnage and 233.32% in value compared to 2020. This means that on average, a ton of cashew nuts exported in 2021 was worth $1,711, down 22.2% year-on-year. The main markets are Vietnam, China, Thailand, India, Japan and South Korea, the ministry said.