As if this weren't painful enough, the EU is now considering the withdrawal of its "Everything But Arms" (EBA) program. This trade arrangement allows goods from Cambodia and other developing nations to enter the EU free of duties and tariffs. EU legislators are threatening to end the arrangement to press for policy reforms in Cambodia. A political thrashing could lead to a virtual threshing of an industry and a way of life.
Since 2001, not only has the EBA eased the movement of goods for Cambodia, it has provided a secure platform upon which an entire economy has been able to embrace growth and prosperity in an increasingly demanding world market.
Cambodian rice is produced in keeping with all international standards and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) supports producers with programs that are designed to encourage ethical, responsible and sustainable farming practices. The goal is to encourage a system that is fair and one that results in clear benefits for growers.
In particular, Cambodia is rapidly expanding cultivation under Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards. Varieties are grown under stringent conditions that comply with product standard and fair-trade certifications. Organic (SRP) rice, per UNEP and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) specifications, is free of toxins related to commercial fertilizers and pesticides. It is produced with the use of environmentally responsible cultivation methods and fair labour practices. Enhanced opportunities for women and a strategy for effective climate change adaptation are among the many benefits for farming communities.
Without the EBA, these efforts will come to naught. The CRF appeals to the EU to save the livelihoods of half a million families and to save the work that we have done to earn your respect, that of consumers and that of those we serve.
Seek but a grain of truth before you act.
About CRF: http://www.crf.org.kh/?page=front&lg=kh&lg=en
Media Contact: CRF Secretariate , Secretary General, Mr. Lun Yeng, Phone: +855 17 728 728, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org