During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the emphasis in Cambodia (Kâmpŭchéa) was on the cultivation of strategic agricultural products, mainly rice, but also cassava and cane sugar. Other agricultural products came second, if not third, under the regime. This also applies to the cultivation of pepper, although 'steak au poivre' was on the menu of the leaders, and was only grown for them.
It was not until the 1990s that pepper cultivation was resumed, ten years after the fall of the Pol Phot regime. In 2010, the cultivation of Mrech Kampot, the Cambodian name for the kampot pepper, received government support with the granting of the first National Geographical Indication (GI) to protect the name. The pepper has also been included in the Ark of Taste under the auspices of the Slowfood foundation.
The fame of the Kampot pepper is partly due to the recent granting of the European PGI (Protected Geographical Identification), which has led to a huge increase in sales in the EU. The label has greatly improved the income position of farmers. The Kampot pepper promotion association (KPPA) monitors compliance with the rules associated with the cultivation of a pepper called Kampot. Of the more than 350 pepper farmers, almost 250 are affiliated with the KPPA, both small farmers and large farmers. Even more than the name, the pepper speaks for itself, undisputedly one of the most delicious peppers in the world!