Pictured above: A husband and wife who run one of the 135 pepper farms in the Kampot region.

Cris Peterson and Tom Gordon have long had a love affair with Southeast Asia. From the Monkey Forest in Bali to the streets of Bangkok and all points between, they have gratefully experienced the wonders of the region for many years. But it's Cambodia—the war-torn history, the warm smiles and open hearts of the people—which holds a special place in the couple's hearts.

The Pepper Project is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to introducing the unique products of Cambodia to the United States. Pepper from the Kampot region of southwestern Cambodia is our primary offering. The pepper has long been used in the finest restaurants of Europe and our goal is to make it available at an affordable price in the U.S.

We are working with groups, such as the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) and Starling Farm to make this a reality. The packaging for the pepper is created by various organizations including: Daughters of Cambodia, a fair trade organization that reaches out to victims of sex trafficking and teaches them the skills needed to live independently and achieve a higher quality of life; Cambodian Handicraft Association, which offers women with disabilities from landmines or polio a new skills base which will eventually allow them to return to their communities and lead an independent life; Yodifee assists and supports young Cambodians with physical disabilities to gain access to education at secondary school level and higher or access skills training leading to an income earning capacity ensuring self sufficiency.

The Pepper Project is a work in progress. Expect changes.