Cardamom, known as the Queen of spices, is widely used in medicine, flavors and fragrances, believed to be as old as civilization.
This value chain presents many sustainability issues:
• No traceability
• Low price generating lack of interest for young generations
• Lack of producers’ organizations
• 120 families
• 7 associations of producers
• Premium prices
• 100% of production purchased
We developed strong ties with local cooperatives. We trace the product to each producer, and in many cases have georeferenced their producing parcels.
Main problem comes from the lack of visibility on selling their production. To address this concern, we commit to purchase 100% of the production of our harvesters, and pre-finance the crop, so they can be paid upfront and have an income during the “pica” phase.
Furthermore, thanks to the NRSC initiative, we established a minimum price for traceable chains, guaranteeing them a minimum profitable income.
We provide technical assistance to help producers strengthen their associations as we believe they are a good vector to develop business for them. As an example, we use them as a platform to distribute pre financing.
Liquidambar styraciflua is a tree native form Central America, growing up to 46 m in height and 1 to 2 m in diameter.
Honduras is the only country in the world counting with production of Styrax gum. The main Styrax producing regions are Olancho and “la biosfera del rio platano” where the tree density per hectare is very low. The styrax gum is harvested under a very ancestral know-how, especially among the Pech tribe.
The Styrax trees can be found singly or in clusters in the forests that are generally state property and have been given in concession to communities to extract the gum. They can also be found as shade for coffee plantations.
First, tappers conduct the “pica” which consists in making a horizontal incision “huaca” in the tree with an axe. Dimensions of those incisions respond to their ancestral know-how so not to damage the tree.
Around 15 days later, harvesters come back to the trees and collect the crude resin accumulated within the incision with a spoon.
This resin is brought to our collecting centers, quality controlled and then sent to our factory, where we purify it (dehydration and filtration).