Sovannak Palm Sugar Story
From Ngo to social enterpriseIn 2009, French NGO GERES developed an improved cooking stove, designed to produce high quality granulated palm sugar, using up to 30% less wood-fuel than traditional stoves. An opportunity for the traditional producers to save costs on energy and to sell a higher quality product at a better price.
To push the sales and foster the adoption of this new solution among traditional palm sugar producers, “Sovannak Palm Sugar” brand was created and rapidly convinced regular customers: supermarkets, restaurants & tourist shops. In 2013, as the business was reaching a milestone, GERES decided to hand it over to a young Khmer entrepreneur willing to develop it.
Sovannak Palm Sugar is now 100% Khmer !!
Sovannak Palm Sugar is a granulated sugar produced from the sap of the Palmyra palm (also called the sugar palm tree) in small batches by rural, family-run producers here in Cambodia.
Its texture makes it easier to dissolve than brown sugar, and the color ranges from light blond to rich brown depending on the batch and seasonal factors. Palm sugar is excellent for use in coffee, tea, desserts, Asian dishes, and as a substitute for brown or raw sugar. Its unique flavor complements a wide variety of dishes from curries to caramels, chocolates and fruits.
Sovannak Palm Sugar is produced organically, without chemical additives, on fuel-efficient, improved cookstoves. This process greatly improves the taste and quality of the palm sugar, as well as promoting a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way out of poverty for rural Cambodians; each kilo of Sovannak Palm Sugar saves 2 kilos of wood from being unsustainably taken from local forests
While no sugar is 100% safe for diabetics to use, palm sugar has half of the Glycemic Index of white sugar, causing less of a rise in blood sugar levels and a reduced insulin response. Clinical trials at the Harvard School of Public Health of more than 85,000 people over a 20-year period showed that the Glycemic Index was validated in preventing Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The Sovannak Palm Sugar is also a good source of minerals and vitamins to support a balanced diet.