Cambodia is eyeing new markets for its highly-prized Kampot pepper – the Kingdom’s only product granted official geographical indication (GI) status – as production of the crop continues to increase, the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) said.
KPPA president Ngoun Lay said the group is looking to expand to new markets in South Korea and Hong Kong due to the year-on-year increase in pepper yields.
“We are in discussions with South Korea and Hong Kong to expand our market destinations,” he said.
Kampot pepper’s GI area currently stands at 250ha in Kampot and Kep provinces. Within that area, 200ha have mature pepper plants that can be harvested, Lay said.
“Our stockpiles have kept increasing year-on-year, so we are looking for more buyers to meet our production,” he said, adding that Kampot pepper’s major markets are the EU, the US, Japan and Canada.
KPPA members number 442 farmers, and the body has partnered with 29 private companies to export its product to international markets.
The price of Kampot pepper remains at $15 a kg for black pepper, $25 for red pepper, and $28 for white pepper. The sector generates approximately $1 million in annual revenue, said the KPPA.
GI status products possess certain qualities or a reputation due to their specific geographical origin and are awarded certain protections according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
Such products must originate from a certain place and its “qualities, characteristics or reputation should be essentially due to its place of origin.
The qualities must also depend on the geographical place of production and there must be a clear link between the product and its original place of production.
Notable products afforded GI status include Roquefort cheese and Parma ham.