Fair Trade Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar
Mentari Naturals Fair Trade Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar, also known as Coconut Palm Sugar, Gula Jawa (Javanese Sugar) or Gula Merah (Red Sugar), is a natural alternative and sustainable sweetener originally made from the sugary sap (Neera/Toddy) of the Cocos nucifera Palm. Our Fair Trade Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar is produced in the district of Kulon Progo of the province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The project producing the our Fair Trade Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar is certified Fair Trade and Organic by IMO Control, Switzerland meeting the EU (EC No 834/2007 & EC No 889/2008), American (USDA-NOP) and Japanese (JAS) Organic Standards.
Although the names are used interchangeably, Palm Sugar, Aren Palm Sugar and Coconut Blossom Sugar are not the same. Palm Sugar commonly comes from the Palmyra Palm Tree (Borassus flabellifer) or Sugar Palm, Aren Palm Sugar comes from the Aren Palm Tree (Arenga pinnata) and Coconut Blossom Sugar comes from the Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos nucifera). All are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds.
For Mentari Naturals Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar, a Coconut Farmer must climb his Coconut Palm Trees at least two times a day to harvest the sap (Neera/Toddy), since no additives are used to prevent the fermentation of the sap. In average Coconut Blossom Sugar Farmers climb up, harvest and climb down the coconut tree up to 25 m within 10 minutes, between 40 to 120 times a day, depending on the number of Coconut Trees owned by the Farmer.
A Coconut Palm Tree starts to develop the first Blossom after 15 to 20 years and can only produce an average of 4 liter (1 Gallon) of Neera/Toddy per day. The average amount of sap a Tapper (the one who gathers the sap) collects from one Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos nucifera) is about 4 liters (1 gallon) of sap per day. Without the benefits of mechanized or any automated system for harvesting.
As an example:
A Palmyra Palm Tree (Borassus flabellifer) or Sugar Palm produces an average of 8 liters (2.11 gallons) per day.
An Aren Palm Tree (Arenga pinnata) can produce about 7 liters (1.8 gallons) of sap per day.
A Coconut Blossom Sugar Farmer needs to work almost twice as much as compared to tapping the Borassus or the Aren Palm Trees to produce the same amount of Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar.
For producing one Kilogram of Organic Coconut Blossom Sugar (Cocos nucifera), the Farmer needs about 8 liter (2 gallons) of sap (Neera/Toddy). There are many different factors that are responsible for the quality of the sugar. Variances in the quality of the sugar will occur due to tree age, variety, harvest weather, number of the flower stalk from which sap is harvested, soil quality, elevation of the area as well as the Tappers technique.
Each harvest time the Coconut flowers are freshly cut by the Tapper to drain the sugary sap (Neera/Toddy). The sap is collected into bamboo container the Tapper brings up to Coconut Palm Trees.
To neutralize the slight acid content of the sugary sap (Neera/Toddy), the Coconut Farmers are using the dried sap of the Mangosteen Fruits, which are also certified Organic.