This cardamom has a backstory.
Cardamom is native Kerala, India where it was the largest growing region until about 1800 when British colonizers intervened. In 1914 it was taken to Guatemala by a German plantation owner where it thrived in the hilly region of Alta Verapaz.
Today more than ⅔’s of the cardamom on the international market comes from Alta Verapaz but the native people have seen little financial gain. From early colonizers to the government not recognizing the land rights of the Indigenous population after independence, indigenous farmers have been systematically excluded and left in poverty.
But, things are changing. Enter Amilcar Pereira (pictured below). He has been growing cardamom since he was 9 years old and has successfully established the first vertically integrated cardamom farm in Guatemala. Pereira and his partner, Francisco Lavignino, are the only exporters who also grow and process their own pods from start to finish. Their farm emphasize workers' rights, sustainability and fair business practices.