wholesale customers - click here Frontier Wholesale
basket masthead my account
Logo

Cardamom

cardamomThe heart of the world's cardamom supply is found in the mountains surrounding the Polochic river basin in Guatemala. While India actually produces more cardamom than Guatemala, almost all of it is consumed in India. The Guatemalan harvest begins in September and concludes in February. Most of the cardamom is grown on small farms, often on steep and rugged terrain.

As the typical harvest season begins, buyers comb the region, looking to secure quantities of pods at cheap prices -- only to resell the cardamom to larger middlemen. A typical supply chain has six to seven buyers or middlemen from field to American suppliers. These buyers add little or no value, other than gradually moving small batches of cardamom out of the mountains and consolidating it at a seaport for export.

That's why Frontier chooses to work directly through our Well Earth Sourcing Program program with a cooperative of farmer co-ops in Guatemala. These farmers get the best prices, market information, and technical assistance to insure a good economic return on one of their most important cash crops.

Meet Our Cardamom Grower

our cardamom growerAt the Santa Maria farmers' co-op in Guatemala, we visited the farmers who started growing organic cardamom four years ago. Organic farmer Lorenzo Ich receives a 6% to 10% premium for his organic cardamom depending on its quality. Besides the price, Lorenzo and his fellow co-op members enjoy a kind of prestige that comes along with being an organic farmer. The co-op taught him how to be an organic farmer -- how to manage his soil, his paperwork and his crops -- so he can provide for his family a little better when he sells his organic cardamom each year.

Lorenzo harvests each cardamom plant every two weeks, starting as the first fruits ripen in early September and making the last harvest in February. Pods harvested too early will be low quality -- both light in color and light in flavor. Pods left on the plant too long burst open and lose their seeds, so Lorenzo must be diligent in his harvesting in order to insure he gets the most production. The whole co-op turns out for the harvest, with farm families moving from field to field and helping each other with the harvest. Older kids also help when they are not in the co-op's school.

cardamom picturesLorenzo and the rest of the Santa Maria co-op are members of a cooperative that is a Well Earth supplier. The co-op not only acts as the marketing arm for its members, it also provides a wide array of services, such as:

  • A free health and dental clinic and a trained medical person at each co-op location with regular field visits by clinic staff
  • Training in a variety of areas, including sustainable agriculture, organic certification and paperwork
  • Production of trees and assistance with forest utilization and reforestation projects
  • Legal assistance
  • Loans for expansion and production
  • Scholarships and other educational assistance

Organic Cardamom Sourcing in Guatemala

Come with sourcing expert Kai Stark to Guatemala, and meet the small farming cooperative of indigenous Maya families who grow our organic cardamom.

CardamomCardamom
The heart of the world's cardamom supply is found in the mountains surrounding the Polochic river basin in Guatemala. Read more.
Meet Our Cardamom GrowerMeet Our Cardamom Grower
At the Santa Maria farmers' co-op in Guatemala, we visited the farmers who started growing organic cardamom four years ago. Read more about our Well Earth grower.
organic cardamom sourcing in guatemalaOrganic Cardamom Sourcing in Guatemala
Come with sourcing expert Kai Stark to Guatemala, and meet the small farming cooperative of indigenous Maya families who grow our organic cardamom. Watch now.

More cardamom on our website:

Learn more about cardamom
• Buy Cardamom Pods
• Buy Cardamom Seed

 

Connect With Us:

Hide sitemap