We recently met with Rebekah, representative of the New York-based Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water company, at the Lake Erie Maple Expo in Pennsylvania. Rebekah explained that Asarasi is purchasing the waste from maple producers’ R.O. systems (which is pure water). They then carbonate and bottle the water, and sell it at a wide variety of restaurants and grocery stores across the maple belt. (See map of their retailer locations below.) They are really doing great!
Rebekah offered us a sample of their sparkling tree water and I found it to be very refreshing. In terms of taste, it is similar to the “LaCroix” brand sparkling waters. The Asarasi website describes their product in more elegant terms: “…smooth on the palate with a mild carbonation and … a silky finish”. Rebekah explained that eventually they would like to expand the product line and offer it in a variety of flavors and packaging types. For now, they just offer pure “Sparkling Tree Water” in an attractive, eco-friendly glass bottle.
Asarasi acknowledged that there are 170+ water brands already on the market. However, Asarasi seems to be doing a great job differentiating themselves. Common water brands are definitely NOT getting their water from trees. Plus, Asarasi says they are the only brand who can boast that they are sustainable, renewable and organic.
So where does Asarasi get all their R.O. water from?
That is where you potentially come in. They are currently seeking new “Farm Partners” for the 2019 tapping season. If selected, Asarasi will bring a large, clean tote to your sugar house. Instead of throwing away your R.O. water, you will simply store it in their tote. Asarasi will then come pick up the tote within 24 hours and give you a new, empty one. You will earn 10¢ per gallon of R.O. water. Asarasi’s calculations estimate that this partnership could enhance your profitability by up to 50%.
Asarasi has developed a quality control procedure in conjunction with Cornell University. Also a representative from Asarasi may come to your farm for an interview before signing you on as a partner. But overall, I’m under the impression that their procedures are pretty “hands off”. It sounds like they have really made the process as hassle free as possible. What a great opportunity for maple producers.