Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom.

During a visit by a delegation led by Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak to Nestle headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland on June 16, a representative said the company was looking for more opportunities in Cambodia.

Sorasak advised the company to work with the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CPCFR) to explore the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding in future.

Cambodia has high investment potential, thanks to free trade agreements with China, and South Korea as well as ASEAN and non-ASEAN nations under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said.

“Cambodia has made great efforts at establishing legal standards and amending important laws to ensure integrity and better business and investment environment.

“These include the Law on the Management of Quality and Safety of Products and Services; Law on Consumer Protection; Law on Competition; and Food Safety Law, which will make a significant contribution to further boosting investor confidence,” he added.

Chhor Rithy, CEO of Khmer Fresh Milk which produces the Kirisu Farm milk brand, opined that greater demand for fresh milk should lead to levels of dairy cow rearing rivalling those seen in other countries, which in turn would create jobs for and improve the livelihoods of Cambodian farmers.

He reckoned that a milk powder factory in Cambodia would be a highly-effective method of taking local milk production to another level.

At present, the supply of fresh milk from local farms is not enough to meet demand though, Rithy told The Post on June 19, adding that Khmer Fresh Milk Co Ltd can meet about a fifth of market demand.

“Our local fresh milk production is very limited, with our Kirisu Farm producing only 10,000 litres per day, equivalent to about 20 per cent of the local fresh milk market. So if there are more local factories, we would need to increase our production,” he remarked.

However, there are other challenges, including the lack of technicians. “So, we often invite technicians from abroad to help train our own farm staff,” he said.

According to Rithy, Khmer Fresh Milk’s production of fresh milk is increasing daily, up from 2,000 litres at the time of initial sale to 10,000 litres per day, while the total number of cows on the farm has increased to nearly 1,000 head.