Because cave nests are dangerous and hard to access, they are seldom collected. Cave nests collect more feathers, shells and other bird matter, and are actually impossible to be completely cleaned. This is why cave nests are almost never seen in the market anymore.
Thus “bird nest houses” which simulates the cave environment of the swiftlets, are purposely built to attract siwftlets to nest in them. Our bird nest houses are well-maintained and regularly cleaned. The bird nests are harvested only after the egg has been hatched and the baby swiftlets mature. This is when the birds abandon their nests. Subsequently, the nests are harvested.
After the process of harvesting, the tedious and labour-intensive process of manual cleaning begins. It takes a skilled person approximately 8 hours to clean 10 bird nests. The bird nests are cleaned by soaking them in water until the nests are softened and the tightly bound strands are partially loosened. Small feathers and fine plumage are then manually removed using tweezers. The cleaned strands are then re-arranged, moulded into its natural cup shape, dried and packaged.
Indonesia supplies 80% of the world’s edible bird nests. One of the reasons that sets Nest Empire apart in the bird nest industry is that we take pride in covering the full spectrum; from growing to harvesting to cleaning to packaging to distribution. Nest Empire has it all from end to end. We understand how the bird nests are grown, how it’s harvested, how it’s cleaned and how it’s exported. Many bird nests suppliers in Canada are middlemen or purely salesperson and hence do not know how the bird nests are harvested (whether it’s ethical or not) and how it’s cleaned (whether chemicals or artificial colourings have been used or not).
In addition, we are regularly inspected by the various respective government bodies both from Indonesia and Canada.