We are full steam ahead in collecting the organic Cambodian Palm Blossom Sugar. Our home province Mondulkiri doesn’t have any Cambodian Palm trees within its frontiers so we will open a warehouse in Kampong Cham City where we can buy the palm sugar in its powder form directly from the families in the Kampong Cham and Prey Veng provinces.
To collect the nectar from the trees in the early morning and late afternoon is one thing, but to cook it and especially stir it until reaching the complete dry version of the sugar is a terribly hard job to do. That’s the reason most families produce the sugar paste, still containing around 30% water. With the help of San You and his fantastic wife Lamah we managed to convince and train some families to produce the sugar till its purest powder form. But we are literally paying a price for it. We pay the collecting families 50% more for the powder form than they can get for the paste form.
In the meantime, we are keeping a close eye on the quality of the product. Some trees contain a higher sugar level than other trees, and we select the families who own or rent these trees. We are constantly testing the nectar. And we are preparing a small factory where we can cook in a much more efficient way the nectar ourselves with electrical stirring equipment. Wood will still heat the ovens but because we can use the heat of the fire far more efficiently we can save at least 50% more on the wood itself.
The farmer families can’t wait till we have built this mini sugar factory. They can skip the cooking and stirring while concentrating purely on collecting the nectar from the trees. And saving the time of the processing, they can rent up to twice as many trees to collect the nectar. The only critical point in here is that they don’t travel more than 30 minutes to the mini factory because the nectar must be processed within a few hours after harvesting. But the result will be the same: pure organic Cambodian Palm Blossom Sugar that still contains all the nutrients.