Golden Rice: Working for a quality and responsible rice industry in Cambodia

Producteurs de riz biologique
Phnom Penh
Golden Rice
Working for a quality and responsible rice industry
in Cambodia
200 000 t.
exported annually
70 000
small producers supported in the country
Proparco's first support for Golden Rice
Golden Rice is based in Phnom Penh and is one of the main rice exporters in Cambodia. The company is recognized for its qualitative and responsible approach. It sources from small local producers and processes over 200,000 tons of paddy (unhusked rice) every year.

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is here, in the city nicknamed “the Pearl of Asia”, that Golden Rice operates the largest rice processing plant in the country. “We process and export over 200,000 tons of paddy every year”, Hach Sok, its charismatic CEO, smiles proudly, while in this month of November many trucks packed with bags of rice stop in front of the plant.

We process and export over 200,000 tons of paddy every year

Hach Sok, PDG de GoldenRice
Hach Sok, CEO of Golden Rice
Récolte de riz
Un ouvrier dans l'usine
Golden Rice processes and exports rice of recognized quality
Once this unhusked “white gold” has been unloaded by the Golden Rice workers, who all wear masks and safety footwear, it is directly processed on the spot. Indeed, the rice of Golden Rice undergoes a rigorous processing and quality control process, under the constant supervision of specially trained staff.
This qualitative approach has earned Golden Rice international recognition, especially in Europe and elsewhere in Asia. In 2012 and 2013, it won the World’s Best Rice Award and is the first company in Cambodia to be certified ISO 14001 (environmental management system) and SA 8000 (Corporate Social Responsibility).
Une approche qualitative
A proactive environmental and social strategy
With its proactive environmental and social strategy, Golden Rice, which employs hundreds of people full time, also has a broader knock-on effect. Indeed, its activities support some 70,000 small-scale rice producers nationwide. “We have very good relations with all these suppliers. The products they deliver us fully meet our needs”, says Sonita Sao, Procurement and Export Manager at Golden Rice.
Récolte de riz
Supporting local producers for their transition to organic farming
The company is also turning to organic farming to meet increasing demand from European markets. Golden Rice is structuring this “pesticide-free rice” industry in Preah Vihear Province in the north of the country, where hundreds of small producers grow an untreated product.

“I’m really happy to sell organic rice to Golden Rice”, Yean Sokha, from Peuk village, says with a broad smile. “This farming method affects neither my health nor the health of consumers”. His financial situation has also considerably improved, to such an extent that he is currently expanding his plot. “Golden Rice buys my product at a better price than if I sold it to an intermediary”.

To assist these suppliers with their transition to organic farming, the company has supplied the seeds, offered training and contractually committed to buy local production. “Long-term cooperation can only be established if it is based on honesty”, says Samneang Chhim, Raw Materials Purchasing Manager at Golden Rice. This innovative contractual approach in Cambodia provides income security for all the producers concerned.
Hach Sok, PDG de Golden Rice
PROPARCO – Golden Rice: a long-term partnership
PROPARCO has been supporting Golden Rice since it was set up in 2009, via two financing solutions: loans and technical assistance.

The last loan, for EUR 12m, which was allocated in 2018, is supporting the company for the next phase of its development plan. This is made possible by financing and refinancing investments in its production capacity (drying, milling and re-milling), as well as doubling its capacity for electricity generated for its own consumption at its plant (gasification system based on rice husks, 2 MW).

“PROPARCO is also involved in financing and technical assistance to reach certain international standards: SA 8000, ISO 14001, the ATEX project and the assessment of supply chain risks for the rice industry in Cambodia”, points out Kenaroth Sao, Key Account Manager at Golden Rice.

Golden Rice is a company based in Cambodia, specialized in processing, milling and retailing fragrant rice. Its activities supports the employment of over 70.000 small-scale rice producers.