McCormick China is Empowering Local Farmers to Protect the Remote Green Sichuan Pepper
The distinct flavor of Green Chinese Sichuan Peppers has played an important role in Chinese cuisine for over 2,000 years. Nature has shaped the long tradition of cultivating the pepper high up in Sichuan's remote mountains at almost 7,000 feet, providing the optimal conditions for it to grow with less rain and long-lasting sunshine that helps create its beautiful color and aroma.
The process of harvesting the pepper involves local farmers handpicking every pepper and drying them in the sun, as nature intended.
Unfortunately, the future of the Green Sichuan Pepper and its traditional farming processes have increasingly come under threat.
Poor transportation connections with Sichuan's remote mountains have limited direct selling and worsened the impact of a long distribution chain through which the peppers are sold at low prices. The area's youth have also increasingly migrated away to cities, resulting in a limited workforce to handpick the peppers and a sharp loss of transferring knowledge of the tradition between generations.
These headwinds have led to the very real risk that future generations may not be able to experience the enthralling flavors of the Green Sichuan Pepper.
McCormick China's work to protect the Green Chinese Sichuan Pepper is an apt illustration of our commitment to stand together to protect and promote "As Nature Intended" flavors under our Purpose-led Performance framework.
Our teams in China have played an active role in developing a sustainable ecosystem to preserve this great flavor and the local livelihood around it, collaborating with local governments, industry bodies, and university professors.
McCormick's action has involved educating local farmers on agricultural practices and cooperating with experts to provide them with training and guidance on how they can maximize yields while ensuring the pepper's high quality.
To better equip the farmers with the ability to expand their distribution network, we plan to donate saplings and provide training on how to use e-commerce to increase direct sales.
Additionally, the China team is developing new products leveraging the Jin Yang Green Sichuan Pepper. The idea is to promote the Jin Yang story while with offering the best quality products in DTC channel since 2021. If more people buy, then the tradition continues.
The Green Sichuan Pepper is just the start of McCormick China's journey to protect the future of flavor. Standing together, we can be confident in the future of the Green Chinese Sichuan Pepper and our ability to have a positive impact on the communities where we operate.