The Kampong Speu palm sugar market will only improve next year thanks to a perceived upward trend in demand in Europe.
The Ministry of Commerce granted a national geographical indication (GI) to the product in 2010 as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
And on April 2 of last year, the European Commission (EC) announced that it would join Kampot pepper in its Register of Protected GIs (PGIs), after the fruit was granted status on February 18, 2016.
Any product sold in EU countries claiming to be “Skor Thnot Kampong Speu”, as registered, must bear the “EU IGP logo” which certifies that it originates from Oudong or Samrong Tong districts. from Kampong Speu province, or Ang Snuol from Kandal province. district, the EC said in a statement.
Farm Link Ltd managing director Sébastien Lesieur told The Post the market will rebound in 2021, after a year of non-existent domestic demand amid Covid-19 left him chilling.
While the company typically sells 20% of its products locally, the pandemic has caused its local stocks to remain higher than usual this year, he lamented.
The health crisis notwithstanding, he said demand for the GI product from Europe had been on an upward slope, increasing on average by 10% over the past 10 years.
“We still have stock from last year due to weak demand in the domestic market, but we have found new customers in Europe.
“We will buy from five to eight tonnes [from producers]. We usually export palm sugar right after harvest is over, in May and June, ”Lesieur said.
So far this year, he said the company has exported five tons of palm sugar, 20 tons of Kampot pepper, Indian long pepper (Piper longum) and “fleur de sel” (fleur de sel) combined. .
“Fleur de sel” is a type of salt mainly associated with the northern coast of France which forms as a delicate, scaly crust on the surface of sea water.
Palm sugar is a relatively expensive option. It retails for around € 10-15 ($ 12.10-18.15) per kg in Europe, while the cane variety costs only € 1-2 per kg.
“It’s an amazing product – natural, unrefined and healthy,” Lesieur noted.
Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association (KSPSPA) chairman Sam Saroeun told The Post on December 10 that a local company was working with an Indian company to secure a deal to sell 100 tonnes of sugar for export. towards the emerging economic giant.
He said the association is scheduled to meet with company representatives on December 11 to discuss the ins and outs of the deal.
“To avoid unintended consequences in the market, we want the company to buy 10-20 tonnes on a trial basis, given how little we know about the Indian market. We don’t want it to fall flat, ”Saroeun said.
He expects IG-branded palm sugar products to garner more domestic and international support next year, he said, noting that the association has recruited 177 households into its ranks with the goal to strengthen production for export.
“We are conducting technical training for the production team and further promoting the Kampong Speu palm sugar brand to prevent counterfeiting,” Saroeun said.
Today, Kampong Speu palm sugar retail sells for 6,000 riel ($ 1.50) per kg, he said.
According to Saroeun, KSPSPA members can produce 250 tonnes of product per season in December-May.
It said its 10 member companies exported a total of 70 tonnes this year to 15 countries in Asia and Europe.