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In Search of Cardamom

Tazo partners Keith, Matt and Scott traveled to Guatemala a few weeks ago to visit key cardamom suppliers and secure our purchases for the next year. Cardamom prices are at 20-year highs because of record worldwide demand and subpar production. Thankfully, through our many hours of facility and field visits, we have a closer relationship with our cardamom supply chain than ever before.

Cardamom is a key component in Tazo® Chai. It’s a rhizome that takes three years to start producing cardamom for harvest, and it’s characterized by its tall, palm fronds and beautiful orchid-like flowers. Cardamom thrives in higher tropical elevations with a steady supply of moderate moisture.

This group of partners traveled to suppliers in Guatemala City and Coban with an agronomist working out of the Starbucks farmer support center in Costa Rica. By visiting cardamom suppliers it allows us to evaluate their quality and food safety programs, and it enables us to gain increased visibility to the cardamom supply chain.

The three reported that a highlight of the trip was visiting the cardamom villages in the remote mountains of Alta Verapaz that Tazo and Mercy Corps support through the CHAI project, a way for us to give back to the villages that supply us with cardamom. The villagers, who speak the Mayan language K’Iche’, are currently participating in education, health and farming programs that enhance their daily lives.

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