Czech-Cambodian firm EU Land and Pepper Investment Co Ltd is due to export four tonnes of Kampot peppercorns to the EU market on June 7, general manager Sim Sotum told The Post.
The shipment is packed and ready to go early next week, Sotum said, adding that the company plans to buy 10 tonnes of the geographical indication- (GI) labelled product this year from smallholder farmers in the southwestern Cambodian province of Kampot for export to the bloc.
“We’re helping out a lot of small-scale farmers to improve their livelihoods with these orders. The number of these farmers has increased to 204. The amount of our GI Kampot pepper available on the EU market is growing rapidly,” he said.
Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) president Nguon Lay affirmed that the company would stay true to its 10-tonne plan for this year, and confirmed the four-tonne purchase for its first export batch this year.
This year’s harvest season started late and is just 10-20 per cent complete, whereas KPPA members would usually have finished harvesting the crop by end-May, he said.
“Orders from the company are still proceeding normally – there is no problem for Kampot pepper, even in the context of the Covid-19 crisis,” he stessed.
According to Lay, 42 companies have entered contract farming with small-scale Kampot pepper farmers for the 2021 harvest season.
Last year, Cambodia exported more than 70 tonnes of Kampot peppercorns, which is shipped out to more than 50 countries today, mostly those in Europe.
According to KPPA, the land designated for Kampot pepper cultivation has increased from 10ha in 2010 to 290ha as of April last year – exclusively in Kampot and Kep – which can yield 82.78 tonnes of the commodity per annum.
And according to Lay, prices now stand at $15 per kg for black pepper, $25 per kg for red pepper and $28 per kg for white pepper – unchanged for over five years.
The Kingdom exported 7,461.21 tonnes of peppercorns – GI and non-GI – in the first five months this year, an increase of 195.20 per cent year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.