You probably have a number of ingredients in your kitchen that you don't know for sure where they come from. It's clear that nowadays you can't buy all your ingredients locally, from well-known farmers and growers, but if you cook with ingredients that have been put into your hands by those who have grown or reared themselves, you can be sure that the ingredients will cook much better and make your food taste all the more delicious.
For example, when you go to a farmers' market to buy potatoes, in most cases you are doing 'direct trade'. This means buying the raw material directly from the source that grew or raised it. And this is exactly how we at .pepper..field buy our pepper from our farmers in Cambodia.
There are several reasons why we decided to go this route. The most important is that it gives us a perfect overview of quality and allows us to guarantee that the peppercorns we offer are truly the best that the Kampot plantations have to offer.
The second equally important aspect for us is financial. Not the money that goes to us, but rather the money that is paid to the farmers from whom we buy the pepper. It is only through direct contact with them that we can be sure that they will receive adequate financial remuneration for their efforts, rather than lose a large percentage to traffickers.
Last but not least, it is very important for us to know from whom we obtain our pepper. We know the stories and the names of the people who go to their plantations every day to look after the peppercorns. We know their wives and children and their dreams. We strive to fulfill them, to make their lives better and to bring the same smile to their faces that we get when we taste their pepper.
How does direct trade taste to you? ☺