Palm Farmers Hopeful Of Deal With Unilever



Palm sugar farmers in Kampong Speu are eyeing a deal with consumer goods giant Unilever, as the global firm hopes to source palm sugar for its products from the Cambodian market.

Prak Serewath, President of the Cambodia Institute for Research and Rural Development, said the potential supply deal could make the product a mainstream export.

“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.

While Kampong Speu is not the only Cambodian province where palm sugar is produced, some of its production carriers the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) status, which ensures a higher market value. The market price for this premium organic palm sugar is currently around $1,400 per tonne, about 50 percent more than its local non-GI counterpart.

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