Orders for the world-famous Kampot pepper are recovering as Europe’s market demand surges following coronavirus restriction measures.
Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) president Nguon Lay told The Post on Thursday that the association’s members had gradually begun ordering the commodity, albeit in small quantities, reflecting a market rebound.
Earlier this year there were no orders at all, he said.
He added that local companies have ordered more than three tonnes of Kampot pepper and he hopes to see more orders.
“I hope that after Covid-19 tapers off in countries known for large orders, like the US, it will be re-marketed. Kampot pepper still has potential,” said Lay.
Kampot pepper harvest season came to a close in the first week of the month, he said, predicting that the 2020 pepper yield was around 90 tonnes with stockpiles remaining between 120 and 130 tonnes.
“We still hope that our export volume will be similar to last year’s 70 tonnes,” he said.
Farm Link Ltd general manager Sebastien Lesieur told The Post that his company has bought seven tonnes of Kampot pepper from 58 small producers and will purchase four more tonnes in the next three months.
The company exported around five tonnes in the first five months of the year, up two tonnes compared to the same period last year, he said. His company will also be exporting two more tonnes this month.
Lesieur said: “Local supermarket sales are down by 30 per cent since January and even more since March [80 per cent].
“[But] export revenues have increased by 70 per cent since January compared to the same period last year. It seems that the confinement in Europe is pushing consumers to cook fine food at home and they need the finest pepper for that.”
“European demand on organic certified Kampot pepper is increasing year by year.
“We have started the European organic certification process of small producers to have enough certified pepper to supply Europe and we hope to get 15 small producers certified by 2021,” he said.