Masarang sugar factory sells first containers of sugar to USA

The Masarang sugar factory has sold its first two containers to a distributor in the USA. The USA can now be added to the list of countries that have bought Masarang palm sugar, after the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada.

2014 was a productive year for the sugar factory. In total over 100 tons of sugar was produced, corresponding with almost 1 million litres of sugar juice produced by the farmers. With the traditional sugar making process, farmers need a lot of firewood to evaporate the water from the juice. With 1 m3 of wood, they can evaporate about 400 liters of juice. The Masarang sugar factory runs solely on rest steam of the nearby Pertamina geothermal plant, thus saving thousands of trees every year.

The sugar factory not only spares trees, but also provides farmers with a generous income. It is not uncommon for farmers to produce up to 100 liters of sugar juice per day from their mixed forests. Looking at the income from their sugar palms only, these farmers already earn about 4 times the minimum wage.

The Masarang Sugar factory in Tomohon, North Sulawesi

The sugar factory was founded in 2006. This year the sugar factory aims to further increase the production. Next to increasing the production, the sugar factory management will focus on acquiring a HACCP certificate. The “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point” certification (HACCP) is a risk assessment method that was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for production and management of safe food.

Masarang Palm Sugar ready for export

In order to acquire this certification, the sugar factory will be helped by a classified auditor for the assessment of HACCP systems from the Netherlands. This is a result of the cooperation of the sugar factory with PUM Netherlands Senior Experts. PUM is a non-profit organisation that matches companies from developing countries in emerging markets with Dutch professionals that offer to share their expertise free of charge, for a better world. The expert will visit the Masarang sugar factory for two weeks this March.

The Dutch distributor for Masarang palm sugar is Amigos International. They sell the sugar to various shops, such as JUMBO supermarket, Ekoplaza, the SEM Super ecomarkets and soon the sugar will also be available at Albert Heijn. Amigos donates part of their revenue towards scholarships for children of poor children in the North Sulawesi region, where the Masarang sugar factory is located.