Palm farmers eye a sweet deal

A man climbs a palm tree to collect sap at a Kampong Thom province palm sugar plantation in 2013. Hong Menea

Cheng Sokhorng, The Phnom Penh Post
Tue, 13 September 2016

Palm sugar producers in Kampong Speu province say they are ready to scale up and meet demand as global consumer goods giant Unilever looks to source palm sugar for its products from the Cambodian market.

Prak Sereywath, president of the Cambodia Institute for Research and Rural Development, said the potential supply deal could catapult the niche sugar product into a mainstream export item.

“Unilever has shown interest in purchasing palm sugar from Cambodia, and plans to buy 2,000 tonnes a year,” he said yesterday. “However, negotiations are continuing and we still need to agree on a price, the quality and standards.”

Sam Saroeun, president of the Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association (KPSA), the country’s largest independent body for palm sugar producers, said he met representatives of Unilever Cambodia last week to discuss the potential supply deal.

“Unilever wants to buy 2,000 tonnes of palm sugar from us a year, and asked us to select a company that will collect the sugar and work with them,” he said.

He said KPSA has nominated the Kampong Speu Palm Tree Agricultural Cooperative, whose 116 members tend over 1.2 million palm trees, to discuss the plan further. (more…)

Posted on: September 12, 2016 9:04 pm