Thursday, 24 February 2011

SME close-up: Competition heats up for bakers

via CAAI

Thursday, 24 February 2011 15:01 SIEM BUNTHY

COMPETITION between the Kingdom’s bakers is heating up, confectionaires have said, leading the Kingdom’s Apsara Bakery chain to put US$200,000 toward enlarging its factory in Russei Keo district in Phnom Penh.

The factory expansion, set to be finished next year, would allow the bakery chain – which owns five branches in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – to hire more workers to add to its 70 employees, who are trained to produce 30 different types of cake.

On public holidays, its employees rise to up to 300 to cope with demand.

“We have growing local demand,” said Apsara’s Production Manager Peng Chhorn.

He said his firm intend to export its own cakes to international markets in the future, but initially it was looking to produce standardised quality goods for the international stage.

Meng Saktheara, general director at the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Energy, said that growing bakery production had reduced imports from neighbouring countries and lowered prices.

While fellow baked goods manufacturer Keo Mom, director of LYLY Company, which makes crackers, said that high raw material costs and a lack of skills were challenges for the sector.

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