FROM NGO TO SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
In 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 !!
Palm Sugar has a higher nutritional value and lower Glycemic Index than cane and other processed sugars. It also contains many vitamins (like vitamin B1) and minerals which support a balanced diet.
Palm sugar has half of the Glycemic Index value of white sugar, causing less of a rise in blood sugar levels and a reduced insulin response. While no sugar is 100% safe for diabetics to use, 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
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.