Collection: Asia

Asia has been the main spice continent for Europe for centuries, but there is increasing competition from countries in Africa and South and Central America, such as Madagascar, Cameroon and Guatemala.

The first trade in spices from the Far East has long been accompanied by strict confidentiality. Violence was not avoided. Like Jan Pieterszoon Coen, admiral of the VOC in 1821, who slaughtered the people of Banda to keep the secret of the nutmeg.

The Europeans still play an important role in the spice trade from Asia, but they have also changed the landscape. Also in recent history. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, French specialists revived the pepper cultivation they had previously introduced in Kampot, Cambodia.

In many places in Asia you see initiatives emerging to support farmers and farming communities in shaping a sustainable agricultural existence while retaining their own identity and traditions. Biodiversity and cultural diversity go hand in hand, as in Wayanad, India, and in the Vietnamese, Nepalese, and Indian Himalayas, where wild harvesting is becoming more and more sustainable.