Quality Places Cambodian Importer on World Stage

Tiger Power imports Tunisian extra virgin olive oil produced on the company farm in Nabeul and sourced from other local growers.
Tiger Kong, owner of Tiger Power
By Lisa Anderson
Jul. 12, 2023 14:32 UTC

High-qual­ity olive oil pro­duc­ers use the World Olive Oil Competition as a mea­sur­ing stick to see how they stack up, and the team behind Tiger Power was no excep­tion.

The Cambodian importer of Tunisian extra vir­gin olive oil has entered its 1629 brand in the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity con­test since 2021.

I love the olive tree from the root to the leaf. And if I have a next life, I pray to get involved in this indus­try again.- Tiger Kong, owner, Tiger Power

While 1629 did not receive an award in 2021, Tiger Power earned a Gold Award in 2022. The com­pany cel­e­brated an even more tri­umphant show­ing in 2023, with two Gold awards for a medium-inten­sity Chetoui and organic medium Chemlali and a Silver Award for another medium Chemlali.

Tiger Kong, the company’s chief exec­u­tive, said the awards have sig­nif­i­cantly impacted the Tiger Power team. It’s some­thing like a moti­va­tion from God to [us on] earth,” he told Olive Oil Times.

See Also:Producer Profiles

From being known by nobody to a well-known com­pany, our brand is being rec­og­nized in Cambodia, Tunisia and around the world,” he added.

As with most suc­cess sto­ries, the team behind Tiger Power has over­come plenty of obsta­cles on the way to their cur­rent suc­cess.

Kong said dur­ing the har­vest, his team had to deal with the effects of cli­mate change and macro­eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties, such as the cost of tak­ing care of their trees and pro­duc­tion.


Kong harvesting olives on his farm in Nabeul, Tunisia

With cli­mate change becom­ing a more per­sis­tent aspect of every­day life, the con­se­quences for olive oil look set to grow worse,” Kong said. At the same time, the eco­nomic cri­sis has low­ered the power pur­chas­ing of olive oil con­sumers.”

Nonetheless, Kong is unper­turbed by these chal­lenges. It was not too dif­fi­cult to grow Tiger Power into a pres­ti­gious olive oil pro­ducer,” he said. It’s a mat­ter of main­tain­ing good qual­ity and improv­ing what still needs to improve.”

Kong’s team has sin­gle-mind­edly focused on the qual­ity of their 1629 extra vir­gin olive oil brand. He said they do not com­pete on the cost of their prod­uct – with the world’s largest pro­duc­ers able to achieve far lower price points due to their economies of scale – only on qual­ity. We will never, ever lower our qual­ity to win the mar­ket,” he said, which he added is a tough choice.

Tiger Power was founded in 2020, fol­low­ing a 2019 meet­ing in Cambodia between Kong and his Tunisian friend Habib Sassi. At the time, Sassi told Kong about Tunisia’s abun­dance of olive trees and high-qual­ity olive oil. Kong had to go to see this promis­ing prospect for him­self.


Habib Sassi introduced Kong to Tunisian olive oil.

We flew together to Tunisia to look for a busi­ness oppor­tu­nity,” Kong said. We started the busi­ness together with the 1629 brand, refer­ring to the age of the olive trees on Habib’s farm.”

Besides using olives from Sassi’s farm to cre­ate their award-win­ning oils, Tiger Power acquired an olive farm near the coastal town of Nabeul in north­east­ern Tunisia to grow more olives.

Kong said the company’s farm barely sup­plies enough olives to meet the demand for extra vir­gin olive oil from their con­sumers in Cambodia. Our farm is very small, with 435 olive trees grow­ing on 5.3 hectares,” he said.

We out­source the olive crop in Tunisia and part­ner with an olive mill to pro­duce qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil,” he said, adding that Tiger Power also buys extra vir­gin olive oil that meets its qual­ity stan­dards from other mills.


Tiger Power’s Tunisian extra virgin olive oil earned three awards at the 2023 NYIOOC.

Soon after the com­pany was founded, the awards started com­ing in. Since 2021, Kong said Tiger Power had won 12 inter­na­tional acco­lades.

The com­pany has also rapidly expanded to import and sup­ply more food prod­ucts. Besides olive oil, Tiger Power has other agri­cul­tural prod­ucts like date sugar pro­duced in Tunisia, taro chips and honey pro­duced in Cambodia,” Kong said. And 1629 (brand) chia seeds pro­duced in Thailand.”

Kong is aware of each team mem­ber’s role in mov­ing Tiger Power for­ward to where it is today.

Everybody at Tiger Power plays an impor­tant role in our suc­cess,” he said, from the farm­ers and truck dri­vers to office staff and man­age­ment team.”

Kong also has big plans for Tiger Power. We are plan­ning to have a hotel resort on our olive farm and invite all the guests to enjoy fresh olives from our ancient trees,” he said.

I love the olive tree from the root to the leaf,” he said. And if I have a next life, I pray to get involved in this indus­try again.”


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