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Great Taste award offers hope for Kampot pepper

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FarmLink Ltd currently works with more than 140 independent farmers in Kampot province and is also a member of Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA). farmlink ltd

Great Taste award offers hope for Kampot pepper

Kadode Kampot Pepper UK won the “Great Taste Golden Fork for Ambient Product of the Year” prize at the internationally acclaimed 2019 annual Great Taste Awards Ceremony in London, the firm said in a press release on Thursday.

The company was one among 13,000 entrants across the world joining the taste competition.

Following 75 days of rigorous judging, the Golden Fork Awards were presented at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on September 1, where more than 350 international guests from the world of fine dining gathered to discover this year’s food and drink stars.

‘Kadode’ is an amalgamation of the French word – and Khmer loanword – ‘cadeau’ (gift) and the Khmer word ‘dei’ (earth), which means “a gift from the earth”, and is a brand of Kampot pepper by French-Cambodian company FarmLink Ltd.

Kadode Kampot Pepper is famous for its fermented fresh green Kampot peppercorns, which are described as having a “surprising soft texture that opens up to a delicious and complex flavour profile”.

“The flavour is incredible . . . the citrus is incredible . . . it does open your mind to the possibilities of pepper” and “fiery but fruity in equal measure . . . the best pepper I’ve ever had” were comments made by senior figures in the food industry and Great Taste judges who could not stop complimenting the qualities of this “revelatory” pepper.

The product is jointly produced, packaged and exported by Kadode Kampot Pepper UK, which was established in the UK in 2015, and FarmLink, which was established in the early 2000s.

“The real stars here are the more than 100 independent farmers in Kampot province whom Kadode has worked with for nearly 15 years and FarmLink Cambodia’s unique expertise in undertaking all the post-cultivation production,” said Michael Winters of Kadode Pepper UK upon receiving this award – also dubbed the ‘Food Oscars’.

“This serves as testament to their integral part in re-building Kampot Pepper farming since the early 2000s. The international recognition is much deserved for such an amazing natural food phenomenon,” he said.

FarmLink, which currently works with more than 140 independent farmers in Kampot province and is also a member of Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA), has played a key part in reviving the industry and in helping Kampot pepper obtain Protected Geographical Indication status in 2012, said the release.

It was one of the first certified Kampot peppercorn producers, and launched the Kadode Kampot Pepper brand to introduce the pepper to a wider market, it said.

KPPA president Nguon Lay welcomed the news, saying the award will help promote and guarantee the quality of Kampot pepper.

“It will help boost Kampot pepper’s reputation,” he said.

However, the market for Kampot pepper is currently small and the export volume was between 68 and 70 tonnes over the past three years.

Raw black pepper currently costs $15 a kg, red pepper $25 and white pepper $28, Lay said.

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