The geographical indication is described in a strict book of specifications that fixes the rules in terms of production methods (farm plots, authorized products, hygiene...), processing, packaging and traceability.
For example, Kampot Pepper book of specifications forbids the use of chemical fertilizers.
The conformity of the product - from the plantation to the final packaged product - with the origin and the book of specifications is controlled using a traceability system and an internal control system (implemented by the inter professional association), coupled with an external control from a certification body accredited to the ISO 65 standard.
The Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, registered in 2008, is in charge of managing the Kampot Pepper geographical indication. It defines the book of requirements, validates the land plots, implements the internal controls and watch over the promotion and the correct use of the name “Kampot Pepper”.
There are two varieties of plants used by the farmers in Kampot: Kamchay and Lampong (or Belantoeung), known locally as “big leaves” and “small leaves”.
Replication is done by cuttings. The geographical indication’s book of specifications forbids the use of any other varieties.
Fertilization is applied all year long in different ways: addition of new soil called “virgin soil”, application of cow dung and bat dung (guano). Some producers also produce fertilizers from rice field crabs, cow bone and skin of prawn.
The geographical indication’s book of specifications forbids the use of chemical fertilizers.
Irrigation is paramount to pepper cultivation. If rain fall is plentiful during rainy season, irrigation is necessary during dry season when a vine needs 15 L of water every 3 days.
Most of the plantations in Kampot are irrigated manually using water from ponds nearby.
Many producers in Kampot produce today natural pesticides (repulsive) based on local plants - the knowledge transmitted from their ancestors.
The geographical indication’s book of specifications recommends using natural pesticides.
Producers growing pepper in Kampot today come from several Producers growing pepper in Kampot today come from several generations of pepper planters. They came back on their land after the civil war was over and started to farm pepper using their traditional methods inherited from their ancestors. . They came back on their land after the civil war was over and started to farm pepper using their traditional methods inherited from their ancestors.
These pepper lovers, smitten with their product, proud of their traditional values and definitely looking into the future, are the keepers of an ancestral know-how, of a way of production where the man and his land make one with a unique goal: producing the highest quality pepper.