The Ministry of Commerce is set to kick off the seventh season of its “Buy Cambodian Campaign” with “The 15th Cambodia Fruits and Vegetables Show 2022” in Siem Reap town from June 16-19.

The campaign aims to spur domestic business activity as well as provide support for and boost recognition of Cambodian goods, in accordance with the government’s trade integration strategy to promote trade and private sector development, the ministry said in a notice.

The mid-June trade fair will serve as a networking event for producers, distributors and other food chain actors, and have a farm-to-market atmosphere that seeks to inspire consumers to support local products and gradually shift away from imports, the notice added.

Keo Mom, the CEO of Ly Ly Food Industry Co Ltd, one of the Kingdom’s largest food processing enterprises, told The Post on March 24 that the campaign, which regularly showcases Cambodian products in Phnom Penh as well as in the provinces, has “greatly benefited” local industry.

She said that while “most” local manufacturers are able to put out quality products that meet consumers’ standards, they are constrained by major market problems.

Hundreds of local wares are displayed at a range of trade fairs under the umbrella of the “Buy Cambodian Campaign” during each iteration, which are discovered by Cambodians, leading many to recognise that locally-made goods are “not unlike imported products”, she added.

However, recent supply chain disruptions from the global pandemic to Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine have hurt manufacturers’ sales while driving up operating costs, she lamented. “Still, I hope this showcase will help boost sales, which could boost production,” Mom said.

Khim Bunlen, founder of the King of Durian Farm Community in Kampot province’s Chhouk district, praised the initiative, but suggested that the ministry adopt a unified set of procedures to make things smoother for producers and distributors bringing in fruits and vegetables to exhibit at the Siem Reap event.

“We are considering joining the event … we also want to showcase our fruits, but it depends on the ministry’s arrangements,” he said, sharing that King of Durian has two branches.

Muy Voleak, owner of the Mondulkiri Natural Vegetable and Fruit World Shop, said fruit sales at her business had taken a severe hit during Covid-19. And to make matters worse, soaring fuel prices in recent weeks have driven up transport costs, she said, stressing that she refuses to raise her prices.

She hopes that “The 15th Cambodia Fruits and Vegetables Show 2022” will jump-start some sales growth, adding that the trade fair will offer locals a shot at promoting more Cambodian products.

Voleak said the event “is to bolster the agricultural sector, and especially to create strong support for Cambodian products”.

“On top of that, this is an opportunity for us to find new businesses partners to jointly promote the development and growth of local products.”