It was during an exploratory trip to South-East Asia that Nathalie and Guy, the owners of The Plantation, naturally fell under the spell of Cambodia. The discovery of the region of Kampot was decisive for them and their pepper plantation visits were a real revelation.
“We found a first site 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 the pepper plantation project.
Once we had purchased the land, we needed to find the team to help us develop the project. Our meeting with Seila Oum was key to the project’s success. With his very extensive experience in the field, with a successful career in real estate, he decided to team up with us and assume the general management of The Plantation. Seila recruited Mr Keak Heng as the plantation manager. Together they assembled a team of 50 people, with experience in growing pepper. Mr Keak, the great-grandson of a planter who arrived from China at the end of the 19th century, is today considered as one of the country’s foremost experts. Our farmers were recruited in the neighbouring villages and they are our Cambodian family, and their working and housing conditions are exceptional for the region.”