A Canadian social purpose enterprise, Kampot Pepper Gives has partnered with a number of local and International causes to help build a Fair Trade distribution network for Kampot Pepper – the best pepper in the world. Kampot Pepper is only grown in Kampot and Kep provinces.
Joseph MacLean, a Vancouver based social entrepreneur, said; “…when someone purchases Fair Trade Kampot Pepper at www.kampotpepper.gives the purchase not only helps worthwhile causes but is integral in rebuilding an industry virtually destroyed during the Cambodian genocide…” he continued; “.. the retail portion of the purchase price (35%) goes to the charity or cause of the purchaser’s choice and the pepper farmers receive a Fair Trade price.”
The project works with the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association that represents over 400 small pepper farmers. What many people do not know is that after the defeat of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 the rebels set up camp in the Voar Mountains in the heart of the Kampot Pepper growing region. Pepper farmers only returned after the rebels were finally expelled in 1999.
In 1900 Cambodia exported 8000 tons of pepper and more than a third was the famous Kampot Pepper. They are rebuilding but the small farmers need access to a Fair Trade distribution network. Last year the Kampot region produced about 70 tons of Kampot Pepper – nowhere near the 3000 tons produced back in the 1960’s (less than 3%). Uniquely this king of spice was awarded PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) in 2010 putting it on the same footing as other ‘appellation of origin’ brands like Champagne, Darjeeling Tea, Cognac etc.).
Dennis Grey of the Associated Press wrote; “..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.
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