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Korean deal gives palm sugar farmers pay day

Palm sugar farmers in Kampong Speu province will soon export their goods to South Korea, the senior officer of a grower’s network said on Monday.

Sam Saroeun, president of the Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association, said an agreement with the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) will be signed in early February.

The agreement potentially widens the province's export total to 300 tonnes per year, dwarfing the 2013 total of 35 tonnes. Saroeun said the price of palm sugar exports could increase 10 to 15 per cent as a result.

Two districts with palm trees in Kampong Speu province were granted geographical indication (GI) status in 2010 under the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Palm producing season runs from December to May. The association contains 142 families producing palm sugar with six companies buying and exporting the GI product to countries including Japan, the United States, France and England.

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