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Cambodia on the world cacao map

History

Before we started as the first cacao farm in Cambodian history, French colonists of Indochina made some attempts – at the end of the 19th century – to start growing cacao in Vietnam. Because of the disappointing results they never expanded it to Cambodia. Eventually, they also gave it up in Vietnam (but cacao was successfully re-introduced in Vietnam in the early 2000s).

In 2014 our Cambodian company Kamkav Farm chose the forested province of Mondulkiri to launch cacao in Cambodia for the very first time. The initiative almost failed due to a devastating drought in 2015. We lost almost all of our trees. We were knocked out but decided to start all over again and our perseverance was finally rewarded at the end of 2018 with our first cacao pods. Now we can proudly say that we put our Kingdom of Wonder on the world map as the 67th country that is producing cacao. And not just cacao, but – thanks to the organic approach, the red soil, the altitude and the weather conditions in general – cacao that has a unique flavour profile: not sour, but nutty, floral and above all a cacao flavour!

New Cacao Farmers

 Meanwhile, many small-scale farmers in Cambodia have become interested in cacao. This has given us the idea to start a cacao nursery and to use our acquired knowledge for fellow farmers. In 2019 we are guiding the first three small-scale farmers from our province Mondulkiri, to start with cacao as well.

Agroforestry

As from 2017 we only use organic fertilizers like cow manure. We now also have our own small cow farm with the first 12 cows. We create compost on several locations in the farms where we mix organic material and cow manure.
We battle insects and fungi with our own formula of cooked leaves and bark from the neem tree; we use chickens to keep the amount of termites in control and we use stingless bees for pollination of the cacao flowers.
Mondulkiri is plagued by deforestation due to the high prices Vietnamese and Chinese companies pay for tropical timber. We try to bring back some forests by intercropping our cacao trees with banana, avocado, durian, jack fruit and shadow trees like Leucaena and of course Neem trees.
Ecocert in Singapore has inspected our farms and we expect to get the organic certifications EOS and NOP in August 2020. 

Mondulkiri

Mondulkiri, the province in the North East of Cambodia is unique in many ways. It is the most sparsely populated Cambodian province and at the same time the largest. Mondulkiri was crazy difficult to reach until the mid-2000s. A journey by car from Phnom Penh took at least two days if you were lucky not to get stuck in the red mud. Until a Chinese company built a highway straight through the forests on the massive hills which had isolated the province for ages. The Chinese were not driven by altruism but by the prospect of cutting and transporting huge forest trees to sell them for a fortune in their home country. Unfortunately, the deforastation still continues. What we can do, is to replace the cut forest locations by cacao farms, set up in an organic, agroforestry style.

Elephants and Bunong Tribes

Once the domain of thousands of tigers and elephants, Mondulkiri is now home to only 250 wild elephants and 50 captive elephants, mostly owned by Bunong tribe members. The last tiger has been seen more than a decade ago.
An estimated 20,000 people are still considered to be a member of the handful of tribes that still live in Mondulkiri. Most of them are members of the Bunong tribe. If you like to visit Mondulkiri and want to swim and bath with elephants, than the local, mister Vanleang of Mondulkiri Tour is a good start: +855-(0)12 82 80 46

Who Are We?

Meet the people behind Cambodias first Cacao Farm.

Chean Chanthol

Chief Cacao Operations Officer

Song Vangmienh

Nursery Manager and Team Leader

Plunh Sophal

Team Leader

Munychan Pilinkh

Assistant plantation manager

Our Customers

Ushio Chocolatl

Hiroshima, Japan

Website

Arete Fine Chocolate

Tennessee, USA

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Wat Chocolate

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Website

Paradai

Bangkok, Thailand 

Website

Lemuel

Singapore, Singapore 

Website

Kad Kokoa

Bangkok, Thailand 

Website

Benn’s Chocolate

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Website