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Rice Traders See Room To Grow in US Market

Cambodian rice bags at a store in Long Beach, California in May 2011.
Cambodian rice bags at a store in Long Beach, California in May 2011.

Cambodian rice imports to the US have increased recently, and producers now say they are seeking to maintain quality standards to continue shipments.

“Cambodian rice was imported into the US before, but the companies couldn’t sustain the quality of rice after the initial shipment,” Phanarith An, who works with rice importer Angkor International, said as a guest on “Hello VOA” Monday. “So customers complained and the companies went out of business.”

“Thanks to state-of-the-art machines and the selection of crops,” he said, “we can now guarantee the consistent quality of our rice."

Only two other companies import Cambodian rice to the US aside from Angkor International: the Imperial Rina Group and Angkor Trading. All three have had to maintain tough standards from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Imperial Rina’s Serivuth Ben told “Hello VOA” that Cambodia now has the capability to produce top-quality rice. His company’s Cambodian partner, Loran, Inc., has hired an international company that “inspects the quality of our rice to make sure it will pass the FDA’s high standards,” he said.

Both Angkor International and Imperial Rina bring rice to grocery stores in California, while Angkor Trading sells its rice in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. All three companies are hoping to expand to more US states in the future.