CEDAC, a domestic agriculture development organisation and the Kingdom’s largest distributor of natural honey, will shrink its purchases of the commodity in the face of rising prices, the company’s president says.
Yang Saing Koma said the group would not reach its goal of buying 7,000 litres of honey from Cambodian bee-keepers, as prices had climbed past US$11.50 a litre.
Honey cost just $9 a litre last year.
“Our capital is limited, and if the price rises any more we are afraid we will not sell out of what we’ve bought,” Yang Saing Koma said.
He pointed to an increasing demand in the Kingdom for natural honey, with the number of buyers continuing to grow.
As a result, CEDAC plans to purchase only between 3,000 and 4,000 litres in 2012, down from the 4,200 the company bought last year.
The organisation had so far bought 2,000 litres of honey, mostly from Preah Vihear and Ratanakkiri provinces, Yang Saing Koma said.
Moeng Mean, president of the Cambodian Federation for Bee Conservation and Community-Based Wild Honey Enterprises, said CBHE had seen gains in the sector, at least in part from demand in the tourism industry.
“The honey price increases as buyers go to purchase from farmers directly and take it to sell at big hotels,” Moeng Mean said. CBHE had signed a contract to supply CEDAC with the 7,000 litres of honey in February at the $11.50 a litre rate, he said.
But another 2,000 litres would be shipped to other partners as well, Moeng Mean said.
Despite the burden that higher prices had put on CEDAC, Moeng Mean said the trend was positive for CBHE members, as higher revenues would lead to higher standard of living.
At the same time, the growth might prompt bee farmers to push for greater protection of Cambodia’s forests, he said, although he was concerned that illegal logging could hurt the sector in the future.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sieam Bunthy at [email protected]