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KAMPOT IN CAMBODIA

PEPPER
FROM LA PLANTATION

a traditional, organic pepper

PEPPER
A PREMIER CRU

LA PLANTATION

the flagship farm of the PGI

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NATHALIE & GUY

A PROJECT
FOR CAMBODIA

our social engagement

LA PLANTATION
KHMER ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE

PRESERVE
TRADITIONAL
KHMER HOUSES

promote the Khmer culture

OUR NEW SHOP
PRIMARY SCHOOL IN THE VILLAGE

SUPPORTING
EDUCATION
OF THE KIDS

our commitment for Cambodia's future

ACTIONS
PEACEFUL CAMBODIA

ESCAPE
IN THE KAMPOT COUNTRYSIDE

a breathtaking rural landscape

KAMPOT REGION
paysage

THE REGION OF KAMPOT

Kampot Pepper takes its name from the province of Kampot, in south-west Cambodia, some 140 kilometres from the capital of Phnom Penh. The pepper growing area of Kampot covers six districts located in the province of Kampot and that of Kep (which was recently separated from Kampot).

Bordered by the sea, the Kampot pepper growing area has an exceptional climate as regards exposure to the sun, sea breezes, the quality of the land and rainfall during the rainy season.

This region is renowned for the beauty of its agricultural landscapes, with palm trees reflecting in the rice fields at sunset, fruit trees (mangos, durian) heavy with fruit and majestic pepper trees rising towards the sun. It is also renowned for its quality of life and the smiling welcome of its inhabitants.

FROM THE ARRIVAL OF THE CHINESE IN THE 13TH CENTURY TO THE FRENCH PROTECTORATE

In the region of Kampot, the arrival of Chinese pepper planters dates back to the 13th century. More recently, at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, the French developed pepper growing on an intense scale in the region of Kampot. Annual production reached 8,000 tonnes, with more than a million pepper poles installed.

The region benefits from the traditional pepper growing knowledge and expertise handed down from one generation to the next. This explains the exceptional quality of Kampot pepper.

At that time, Kampot pepper was mainly exported to France. It has always had a reputation of being a high-quality pepper, one of the best in the world. Its flavour and unique aroma make it very popular with gourmet chefs.

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Rennaissance

THE RENAISSANCE

During the civil war in the 1970s, pepper growing was abandoned. It gradually started again from 2000 onwards when the families of generations of pepper planters began to return to their lands. Kampot pepper is grown using traditional ancestral methods. New commercial outlets are enabling these families to restore plantations, and new plantations have also been established recently.

PGI and KPPA

2010 marked a watershed in the renaissance of Kampot pepper with the establishment of a PGI (protected geographical indication) label by the Ministry of Trade and the French Development Agency. Kampot pepper thus became the first Cambodian agricultural product to be granted PGI (protected geographical indication) status, on 2 April 2010. This PGI has been registered in Europe in February 2016.

The PGI requires producers to comply with very strict specifications laying down rules governing production (land, cultivated area, natural fertilizers and natural pesticides), processing, packaging and traceability.

Plantations are controlled by the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) and by the independent certification body EcoCert. Only accredited members of the KPPA, adhering to the PGI criteria, are authorised to sell pepper using the “Kampot Pepper” appellation of origin.

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CURRENT DEVELOPMENT

Today, if you walk in the Kampot and Kep countryside, you will notice a large number of new pepper plantations springing up. The renaissance of Kampot pepper is in full swing.

The region now boasts several hundred plantations, ranging from family-run plantations, with several hundred poles, to plantations covering more than 20 hectares.

In 2016, the Genuine Kampot Pepper production reached 70 tons and is expected to increase to 100 tons in 2017.

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PEPPER

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine of the Piperaceae family, native to the Malabar Coast. This vine grew wild in the forest, along tree trunks, in the Kerala in India. Plants were then transported and grown in tropical areas, such as Brazil, Madagascar and South-East Asian countries.

Since the 13th century, the region of Kampot has developed pepper plantations, aided by the region’s exceptional soil.

Kampot peppers stand out by their unique flavour. They develop a relatively sweet pungent taste, fruity aromas and an exceptional flavour in the mouth. Kampot pepper has been elected by chefs and foodies as one of the best peppers in the world.

THE VIRTUES OF PEPPER

Pepper and its piperine extract have many virtues. Over and above its gastronomic and flavour qualities, the use of pepper in cooking not only enhances the taste of dishes but also helps to reduce the use of salt, whose consumption is strongly discouraged by cardiologists.

Since ancient times, pepper has been recognised for its medicinal qualities, as demonstrated by many recent medical studies. It is good for digestion and helps to prevent and combat various forms of cancers (including breast cancer when it is combined with curcumin). It has effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an antidepressant and has aphrodisiac qualities. We advise you to enjoy pepper without restraint.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEPPER

Pepper berries all grow on the same plant, but are harvested or processed at different stages of maturity. Like wine, a good pepper must not be mixed with others (just as you wouldn’t mix red wine and white wine in the same glass). You will taste and appreciate better the characteristic aromas of each colour of pepper.

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GREEN PEPPER

From September, bunches of pepper start to develop on the plant. They all have an intense green colour and grow over the months before starting to mature in January. Kep crab stir-fried in green pepper is one of the region’s must-eat traditional gourmet meals.

La Plantation has created a new exclusive product: Salted Kampot Pepper. Harvested by hand before maturity, the green peppercorns undergo a fermentation process that enhances all their flavor. The crispness of the corn and the intense explosion of fresh pepper
flavors in the mouth make this salted pepper a unique product you can keep for one year.

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BLACK PEPPER

From January, the ripe bunches are harvested by hand. They are then seeded, washed and sun-dried for 2 to 3 days.

The Kampot black pepper develops strong and delicate aromas. Its taste is very intense and mild at the same time, with hints of eucalyptus and fresh mint. It complements grilled meats and fish perfectly. It is best not to cook pepper. Instead it should be milled freshly on the plate.

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RED PEPPER

At the height of the dry season, towards the month of March, the peppercorns ripen on the vine, turning from yellow to red. Harvested by hand at full maturity, the peppercorns are then washed and sun-dried.

The Kampot red pepper is the region’s flagship product. It develops powerful fruity aromas. Its unique taste, less spicy than the black pepper, has sweet notes of red fruit and honey.

It enhances and flavours your dishes and desserts. Its delicate aroma develops in particular when added to strawberries and pears.

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WHITE PEPPER

White pepper is the result of the transformation of red pepper. Its outer coat is removed by soaking it only for 1 night. The Kampot white pepper develops a powerful bouquet and delicate aromas. Its intense, spicy taste conceals hints of fresh herbs and lemon.

The Kampot red and white peppers are extremely rare peppers because of the difficulty in harvesting them at the right moment at full maturity and the need to have a large enough workforce to pick these peppercorns by hand. The Kampot region is one of the few regions to produce white pepper from red pepper.

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TRADITIONAL PRODUCTION

PEPPER PLANTS

Pepper plants are propagated by cuttings. They come from plantations existing exclusively in the territory covered by the PGI. To comply with the PGI specifications, two varieties of pepper trees can be planted in the region: Kamchay and Lampong, usually called “big leaves and small leaves”. The plants grow rapidly along a 4-metre-tall wooden pole. Attaching the stem of the pepper along the pole using natural filaments made from wood bark is a meticulous task.

FERTILIZATION

The soil is worked daily by the farmers in order to monitor the development and good health of each vine. Depending on the seasons, the work carried out consists of weeding, hoeing, adding fresh soil and natural fertilizer, mainly dried cow dung or bat guano mixed in the soil. La Plantation’s Kampot pepper has been certified organic by Ecocert.

IRRIGATION

Water is very important for pepper plantations. It is essential to install water reservoirs on the plantation in order to collect rain water during the rainy season, from June to October. This can be used to water each pepper vine manually once or twice a week during the dry season.

CONTROL OF INSECTS

To fight against insects or diseases, we have developed our own natural pesticide formula with local roots and plants. This repulsive potion is sprayed on individual trees when needed.

THE TEAM

Guy & Nathalie Porré
Owners
Keak Heng
Agricultural Director
Our Farmers
during harvest

The salt of existence is essentially in the pepper that you bring to it!

Alphonse Allais

THE PLANTATION

ENCOUNTERING CAMBODIA

It was during an exploratory trip to South-East Asia that Nathalie and Guy, the owners of The Plantation, naturally fell in love with Cambodia. The discovery of the region of Kampot was decisive for them and a visit of a pepper plantation was a real revelation.

“We found our land in 2013 in the commune of Kon Sat. It had all the characteristics that we were looking for, namely the natural beauty of the site – land backing on to the mountains, overlooking the Secret Lake, with breathtaking views of Bokor Mountain, on one side, and the sea and Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, on the other side.

But the quality of the site is not enough to produce a good pepper. We therefore had the soil tested by several laboratories in order to ensure that it was suitable for our pepper plantation project.

Once we had purchased the land, we had to find the team to help us develop the project. We were lucky to meet our key manager Mr. Keak Heng, grandson of pepper planter immigrant from South China in the late 19th century. He joined La Plantation to take charge of the inception and management of the pepper farm. With more than 50 years of experience in the field, Mr. Keak is considered as one of the best experts in the Kampot Pepper appellation. He is the guarantor of the quality of the cultivation and production of La Plantation’s pepper.

He has formed a team of farmers which he has been training and running for more than four years. Our farmers have been recruited from neighboring villages. They are our Cambodian family and enjoy very good working and housing conditions in the region.”

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF LA PLANTATION

La Plantation manages 22,000 Kampot pepper posts on around 20 hectares. We grow the pepper in a traditional, organic way, in strict compliance with the PGI standards for Kampot pepper and use only organic fertilizers.
We also grow other spices, like Long pepper, Turmeric and wild Chili and local fruits and vegetables.

Although our plantation is one of the largest of the Kampot PGI, our objective is not to produce pepper on an intensive scale. On the contrary, we have chosen to produce a pepper with a primary focus on quality, if necessary to the detriment of the production yield per hectare.

We also sit on the board of directors of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA), which is chaired by Mr Lay. KPPA is in charge of inspecting the farms, protecting and promoting Kampot Pepper quality and brand all around the world.

Kampot Pepper harvesting by hand - Le Poivre de Kampot est récolté à la main

THE RESOURCES

The Plantation is now employing more than 100 Cambodian people full-time. During the harvest season, we hire 150 additional daily workers. Between February and April, fully ripe Peppercorns are harvested by hand, the Red Peppercorns are even harvested corn by corn.

The major production stages involve: harvesting, selecting by hand, washing, boiling and lastly sun-drying over 3 days. Dry peppercorns are then selected by hand to be in compliance with the PGI standard requirements. For food safety and hygiene, they are packed in hermetically sealed packs. We use only natural and recycled packaging.

In order to meet the very high quality, food safety and hygiene requirements of European, American and Japanese importers, we have built a plant in order to process our pepper and spice production. This is a pilot plant in Cambodia.

MARKETING THE PEPPER

The 2017 Kampot Pepper harvest is almost finished. We offer four types of Certified Kampot Pepper: Black Pepper, Red Pepper, White Pepper and our new Salted Pepper. We also produce Long Pepper, Pearls of Long Pepper, Turmeric and Chili. And we have an exclusive agreement with a Kampot Salt Producer who makes a high-quality Flower of Salt for us.

If you are a wholesaler or a reseller, please contact us by email. We will give you prices on quotation.

If you are a pepper and spice lover visiting Cambodia, don’t hesitate to come and visit us. La Plantation is open  every day from 9:00 to 18:00. We sell our peppers at our shop. You will enjoy this amazing old Khmer house rebuilt piece by piece offering a breathtaking view over Secret Lake.

For further information, please contact us by email (info <at> kampotpepper.com).

Natural packaging for La PLantation Kampot Pepper - Le Poivre de Kampot de La Plantation est en matière naturelle et recyclée
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A SOCIAL PROJECT

Other than the social mission to benefit the families of La Plantation’s farmers, we also look after a Primary school next to the property. We help around a hundred pupils with school supplies and bicycles so that they can get to school. We have built a new access road for the school and also maintain the school buildings. We support financially the school exclusively for the benefits of the education of our kids.

For the best students finishing Primary School, we finance their scholarship  in a Private Secondary school in Kampot and manage transport accommodation for them every day.

ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONEMENTAL PROJECT

AN INTEGRATED MODERN ARCHITECTURE

To receive their families and friends, the owners have designed an innovative project which is unique in the country. This project has been entrusted to Yvon Chalm, who is currently one of the most sought-after architects in Cambodia.

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Modern buildings at La Plantation - Les maisons modernistes de La Plantation

PRESERVATION OF KHMER ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE

To welcome their visitors at La Plantation, Guy and Nathalie have voluntarily chosen to privilege the preservation of Khmer traditional houses, which are disappearing every day.
True historical monuments and witnesses of the ancestral culture of the country, Khmer houses are bought from the villagers, dismantled and rebuilt piece by piece at La Plantation.

They participate in the unique character of the site of La Plantation which becomes the main tourist attraction of Kampot

La Plantation preserving the Khmer Architectural Heritage
Maison traditionnelle khmère - Khmer traditional wooden house

ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT

In front of climate change and worried of protecting the environment of the region, Guy and Nathalie dashed into a vast project of reforestation of lands, hills and everything around the plantations of pepper.
A tree nursery was organized, the seeds of the collected local species are put in jar, before being transplanted in the property. Thousands of trees were already planted.

Environmental project: a nursery to plant thousands of trees-Project environnemental : une pépinière pour replanter des milliers d'arbres
Environmental project: a nursery to plant thousands of trees-Project environnemental : une pépinière pour replanter des milliers d'arbres

Contact us

If you are staying in Kampot or Kep in Cambodia, please come and visit us. You will be most welcome at our new traditional Khmer House shop, overlooking Secret Lake and Bokor mountain. Our tour guides will be delighted to give you explanations about our project and do a tour with you around the pepper and spice plantation, through our local fruit garden. They will drive you in a pepper tasting experience. Directly from the farm, our products are sold at the lowest price in the country.
Take time in your tour, enjoy the view, and taste our fresh fruit juices and dishes cooked with our spices.
La Plantation is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00. The guided tour is free and available in Khmer, English and French.
For any request feel free to send an email to info <at> kampotpepper.com or complete the form below:

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Organic Pepper Farm-La Plantatioon Map