Kampot Pepper holds the prestigious Protected Geographical Indication certification putting it on the same footing as other appellations of origin like Champagne, Cognac, Darjeeling Tea…
We work with a collective of over 400 small farmers that are trying to rebuild their ancient farming system that was virtually destroyed during the Cambodian Genocide.
Kampot Pepper farmers are facing a new challenge as large growers are no longer buying from the small growers but are expanding their capacity by buying up small farms. This is devastating for the small growers and their families. In 2019 some 25% of the smallest growers either abandoned their ancient farming system or sold or lost their pepper farms. COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation as they haven’t been able to sell most of last year’s crop.
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A nearby sea, flanking mountains, a quartz-rich soil: It’s the perfect spot on earth, devotees say, to yield a product they describe in that rapturous vocabulary usually reserved for fine wines: “aristocratic, virile, almost aphrodisiacal,” with subtle notes of caramel, gingerbread and mild tobacco.
(Denis D. Gray, The Associated Press)
“The dogged determination to revive a once threatened crop is now starting to pay dividends. “It has a lot of cachet, something from the past,” says Bourdain. A full renaissance is a long way off: Cambodia exported only a few thousand kilograms last year. But awareness is growing fast, and as Laiskonis points out, Kampot pepper offers that all-important element of romance. “It has been rescued from time and events,” he says. “Ingredients that tell a story are a special thing you can offer people.”
Chef Anthony Bourdain in Time Magazine Jan. 16, 2012
“It’s got a floral dimension that’s really something special…”