LAO - SIAM BENZOIN GUM

S.DFORES proudly presents Lao – Siam Benzoin Gum – a natural treasure from the forests of Luang Prabang in northern Laos. Our production of benzoin gum contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and climate, and to the well-being of local people.

PRIDE OF LUANG PRABANG

Our main sourcing area is located in Luang Prabang province, one of the 17 provinces of Laos. The city of Luang Prabang – the ancient royal capital of the Kingdom of Laos – today invites visitors from all over the world as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The province is characterized by dense forests that provide home for endangered species. Here, high-quality benzoin gum is produced on fallow farmland by Khmu and Hmong peoples according to traditional knowledge.

SOIL, CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY

In the heart of Luang Prabang there are still montane tropical rainforests with unique flora and fauna. In this wild nature we find the Siamese benzoin tree – Styrax Tonkinesis – a pioneer tree species that grows on open land, quickly reestablishing a forest cover. The Khmu and Hmong have developed a balanced system to produce food and gum on the same piece of land by periodically planting Styrax trees. This ancient land use system helps to regenerate soil fertility, stop the expansion of agricultural land, and preserve our climate. Within the diverse mosaic of land use, styrax stands connect native forests and protected areas as green ecological corridors.

Years of experience

S.DFORES’ experience in harvesting, processing and exporting of Lao – Siam Benzoin Gum.

Annual production in tonnes

Our annual offer of high quality Lao – Siam Benzoin Gum

Producer Families

The number of Khmu and Hmong producer families who place their trust in S.DFORES

What We Offer

S.DFORES is your experienced partner in Laos for high quality Lao – Siam Benzoin Gum under full traceability.

S.DFORES est. 1993, counts with more than 30 years of experience in the implementation of agroforestry systems, quality management and logistics in remote mountainous areas while promoting sustainability and fair trade of producers. We export our benzoin gum to customers all over the world, especially to Europe.

S.DFORES is a reliable business partner for long-term investments, as sustainability is the core of our business model. S.DFORES cares about tomorrow’s future and actively addresses the major challenges of sustainable and climate-friendly use of natural resources. We promote synergies between socio-economic incentives and environmental best practices based on trusting and solid partnerships with producers and the implementation of training programs.

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S.DFORES has established a sourcing network with more than 300 producers from 10 villages in three districts of Luang Prabang province. Recently, new purchasing areas have been developed, including one district in Phongsaly province and two districts in Houaphan province. Producers are free to determine to whom they sell, but prefer S.DFORES. We guarantees minimum purchasing prices in a long term, provides free pre-financing after request, and takes care of social, labor, and environmental concerns.

S.DFORES promotes transparency and traceability along the supply chain to provide information about the origin and production conditions at any time.

Production & Services

Traditional harvesting method

Careful harvesting of the gum

Crystialized resin

Harvest basket

Annual production cycle of Siam Benzoin Gum

S.DFORES produces in harmony with nature. Our producers carefully select the appropriate time for tapping the trees, with respect to weather conditions and the phenological cycle of the trees. The best time for tapping is at the start after the rainy season, between September and December. When the gum on the trunks has been dried by the sun, it is time for harvest, from March to May.

Quality control

-A- Grade

-B- Grade

-C- Grade 1

-C- Grade 2

-C- Grade 3

-C- Grade 4

-D- Grade (powder)

Quality Control

The producers clean the benzoin gum by hand and store it under dry conditions in well-ventilated bags until it is transported to our processing plant in Vientiane. Here, the gum is washed in clean water and sorted again to be graded into different qualities according to customer requirements.  We ensure optimal storage of the benzoin gum under dry and cool conditions until shipping so that all its characteristics are preserved.

Quality export to international standard

Labeling and protective packaging

Ready for shipping

Inspection by government authority

Phytosanitary Certificate

CO – Statement on origin for EU

CO – FORM D. Export to ASEAN

Section of Agriculture, Vientiane Capital

Preparation of customs formalities

S.DFORES takes care of all administrative formalities to ensure a smooth, fast and safe transport from Laos to your destination.  Only new packaging materials are used and in accordance to our clients´ specifications. One of our preferred solutions is to pack the gum in stackable boxes that correspond to the pallet size.

Transport routes

From our office in Vientiane

On the roads

To the Shipping Center

Worldwide Shipping

It is part of our services to organize the shipment of benzoin gum for you. Whether by air, land, or sea, we will review the best options with you to ensure that your order arrives quickly, safely, and in best condition.

Commitments & Social Activities

BUILDING STRONG PARTNERSHIPS…

Build partnership with producers

Be consultant in FAO project in 1994 (1)

Be consultant in FAO project in 1994 (2)

Visit Indonesia (Sumatra Benzoin) in 1994

Benzoin trading view in 1992 (1)

Benzoin trading view in 1992 (2)

Benzoin trading view in 1992 (3)

Benzoin trading view in 1992 (4)

Signing with producters LPB in 1999 (1)

Signing with producters LPB in 1999 (2)

Signing with producters LPB in 1999 (3)

Signing with producters HPH in 1999 (1)

Since the early 1990s, S.DFORES built partnerships with all the key players in the benzoin gum supply chain, such as farmers, local government authorities and national ministries. At that time, there were few roads, and the company’s founder, Mr. Somsack Chanthaphonh, had to travel to the producer villages by boat or even on foot. His strong commitment to progress despite adverse conditions was the basis for strong partnerships that continue to this day, and allowed him to acquire extensive knowledge about benzoin production. S.DFORES actively participated in sharing of experiences to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project (Dr. Masakazu Kashio) in order to promote the benzoin gum sector.

UNTIL NOW…

Mr. Somsack CHANTHAPHONH, CEO & Dir.

Traceability system implementation (1)

Traceability system implementation (2)

Traceability system implementation (3)

Traceability system implementation (4)

Traceability system implementation (5)

Traceability system implementation (6)

Gathering with producers

Technical meeting in a local district

Technical meeting in a local village

Until today, we have maintained the trust placed in S.DFORES and continue to expand our partnership. We respect the application of traditional methods, but also support producers in improvement of methods to increase work safety and product quality, under respect of national regulations. We also work with international organizations, such as HELVETAS Lao / the regional BioTrade project, to implement international guidelines in accordance with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) BioTrade Principles. Key elements are our traceability system as well as the promotion of legal access to the forest through clarification of land use rights for producers.

PASS ON KNOW-HOW

Teaching ethics and sustainable biocommerce (1)

Teaching ethics and sustainable biocommerce (2)

Teaching ethics and sustainable biocommerce (3)

Appreciate the unique scent of styrax trees

To ensure the highest quality of our production, we pass knowledge and know-how from generation to generation. S.DFORES compiles practices in didactic materials that are freely available to all interested parties. Further, S.DFORES conducts trainings for producers and promotes exchange of knowledge to continuously consider suggestions for improvement.  The trainings are coordinated with government agencies, and implemented in partnership with local forestry administrations.

RESPECTFUL OF NATURE

2 months Styrax tree

5 months among the rice fields

2 years Styrax tree

5 years Styrax tree

11 years Styrax tree

Traditional technique

Benzoin Gum Tear (1)

Benzoin Gum Tear (2)

Flower and fruit of the Styrax

Encourage the use of traditional tools

We are aware that all of us – and especially benzoin production – depend on a healthy planet. Therefore, we are actively engaged to promote sustainable practices to maintain the tree vitality and long tree growing cycles. In this way, we make a small contribution to mitigate climate change, through biomass accumulation and conservation of soil fertility. We further encourage our producers to biodiversity conservation by reducing illegal hunting activities, and to increase biodiversity on farms, e.g. by hedgerows and fruit trees. All of our production systems are fully organic.

HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION & FAMILIES

Control of production tools

Providing first aid kit and medicines

Provision of educational material

Provision of basic necessities (1)

Provision of basic necessities (2)

Provision of basic necessities (3)

Provision of basic necessities (4)

S.DFORES strives to contribute to the well-being of producers and their families. A key element is the negotiation of fair prices based on transparent calculations of production costs. In addition, S.DFORES shares benefit through the provision of first aid kits and medicines, both for producer families and to support local hospitals.  S.DFORES gives further special payments, e.g. for the improvement of work and personal protection equipment, as well as for the specific works to maintain the styrax forests. S.DFORES also provides interest-free pre-financing to interested producer, based on transparent and fair contracts.

LEARNING TO DEVELOP

Learning from the field

Meeting with the Helvetas Vietnam team

Meeting and Workshop in Myanmar 2019 (1)

Meeting and Workshop in Myanmar 2019 (2)

16th China-Asean Expo 2019 Nanning (1)

16th China-Asean Expo 2019 Nanning (2)

Incosmetic Fair in Thailand 2019 (1)

Incosmetic Fair in Thailand 2019 (2)

ABS Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam 2019

Market Trends seminar in Luang Prabang 2020 (1)

Market Trends seminar in Luang Prabang 2020 (2)

Looking to the future and concerned about sustainable development, S.DFORES participates in various workshops on BioTrade principles to get prepared for international certifications such as the EU-organic certification. Our goal is to develop and implement a quality standard for sustainable Lao Siam Benzoin gum that transparently demonstrates sustainability along the entire supply chain for the international market.

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Get in touch

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Somphavanh (Mimi) CHANTHAPHONH

General Manager

” If you are interested in high quality benzoin gum provided by a company committed to fair and sustainable production, please contact us.

We are looking forward to meet you! “

Call Us

+856 20 29 924 289
+856 20 95 659 551

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