Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia finalise joint standard for bird nests

Cambodia, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia have agreed to set up a joint standard for bird nests for the Chinese market, aiming to build confidence among customers and boost exports.

The agreement was made at a meeting in Beijing last week with representatives of bird nest associations from Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and China, said Va Sochin, president of the Cambodia Swiftlet Bird Nest Manufacturer and Export Association.

The Consulate General of Cambodia in Chongqing and the Cambodian Food Producers Association have led members and traders in the Cambodian bird nest industry to hold talks with Chinese customs and the president of the Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian bird nest associations.

“The result of the talks was that Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to establish common standards for bird nests for the Chinese and ASEAN markets,” she said.

Common standards are examined for product humidity levels, product identification, and disinfection methods, the association stated.

In the past, products with a valid import license had a hard time competing with illegally imported products.

The association said that China announced its support for Cambodian bird nest products in its import market because the environment in Cambodia is good, ensuring high-quality products.

During their stay in China, the Cambodian association also met with the largest distributors of bird nest products in China and signed an MOU to buy and sell bird nests from Cambodia.

“The association will further discuss ways to speed up applying the import license to China and make efforts to promote and develop the Cambodian bird nest sector to enhance the reputation of Cambodian products,” the association said.

The Cambodian Swiftlet Nest Manufacturers and Exporters Association held an auction in February of edible bird’s nests in Phnom Penh to help swiftlet home preservation owners sell them and find partners or buyers, and facilitate the edible bird’s nest processing business.’

According to the association’s president, Cambodia has about 3,000 swiftlet nest producers across the country, exporting more than 100 tons of edible bird’s nests a year.

The market price of fresh bird nests ranges from $700 to $900 per kg and the value of processed products is between $1,500 and $2,000 per kg.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries last year formed a technical working group to negotiate the opening of the market for exports of edible bird’s nests to China.