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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Palm sugar to be tested on markets in Japan

Palm sugar to be tested on markets in Japan

A CHEMICAL company has started to produce sweets from Kampong Speu palm sugar for testing on Japanese markets, according to the Cambodian Center of Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC).

CEDAC enterprise manager Lang Seng Horng told the Post Tuesday that the Nagoya-based Suzuki Chemical Company was conducting a trial of the famous palm sugar on the Japanese sweets market.

Kampong Speu palm sugar was granted geographical indication (GI) status last month, under the World Trade Organisation’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The GI status brands products based on the areas for which they are famous, as in the case of Champagne.

“We hope the trial sale is successful – which would lead to the company establishing a factory here – because Cambodia’s palm sugar is of good quality and has a special taste,” Lang Seng Horng said.

According to CEDAC, Suzuki Chemical Company exported about 2 tonnes of Cambodian palm sugar in April, worth about US$3,000, as a trial step.

Pok Leaxrasy, president of the Palm Tree Conservation Association for the Development of Cambodia, said Suzuki’s plans would benefit palm sugar production and help create job opportunities.

“I believe building a factory to produce candy from palm sugar would have a positive affect,” Pok Leaxrasy said.

Cambodia is currently capable of producing 30,000 to 60,000 tonnes of sugar per year from around 2 million palm trees, according to the association.

GI registration for Kampong Speu palm sugar is the first step in preventing fraudulent imitations, the Ministry of Commerce stated when it rubber-stamped the product’s status on April 4. Suzuki Chemical Company was unable to be reached late Tuesday.

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