Organic Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Black Pepper

Premium, ethically sourced
  • Organic certified Sri Lanka Black Pepper (Ceylon Black Pepper)
  • Hand picked – premium quality – Ideal for Gourmet cuisine and gifting
  • Premium packaging – Glass Vials or Burlap Pouches
  • Available as Sri Lanka Organic Black Pepper Whole, Ground Black Pepper, Extract, Essential Oil, Blends
  • Sourced primarily from Micro-Small category farms (Organic)
  • Suitable for Ethnic Stores, Speciality Stores, Gourmet and Health-food Stores
  • Retail and Bulk Packaging available
  • International Shipping available
USDA Organic
ISO 22000
Regenerative Agriculture
Eco Friendly


 Organic black pepper from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is considered to be among the best when comparing with black pepper from other parts of the world. Ceylon Black Pepper is esteemed for its unique flavor profiles, shaped by the island’s diverse geography and cultivation practices. Let’s delve deeper.

The history of Sri Lanka Black Pepper

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, often referred to as the “Spice Island,” has left an indelible mark on the global spice trade for centuries. Among the multitude of spices that have flowed from this island nation, black pepper stands tall as a testament to Sri Lanka’s historical significance, unique geography, and enduring excellence in spice production. Dating back to ancient times, Sri Lanka’s strategic location made it a crossroads for trade between East and West. This positioned the island at the heart of the spice trade routes, connecting the spice-rich East Indies with Europe and the Middle East.

Black pepper, Piper nigrum, historically dubbed the “King of Spices,” found its way to Sri Lanka through a combination of natural suitability and human exploration. The tropical climate, ample rainfall, and diverse terrain provided a fertile ground for black pepper cultivation. Legend has it that it was brought to Sri Lanka by a shipwrecked Indian prince who discovered the spice’s potential in the island’s soil. Soon after, the Sinhalese people recognized its economic value and incorporated black pepper into their agriculture.

Today, Sri Lankan black pepper is revered for its exceptional quality, flavor, and aroma. Its success is attributed to a combination of factors.

Did you know?

  • Sri Lanka consistently ranks among the top exporters of black pepper globally, indicating its widespread demand and reputation for quality.
  • Celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver have acknowledged the distinctiveness of Sri Lankan spices, including black pepper, in their recipes and endorsements.
  • The increasing demand for organic and sustainably sourced products aligns with Sri Lanka’s approach to black pepper cultivation, which emphasizes regenerative agriculture and organic practices.
  • Sri Lanka offers unique black pepper varieties like Malabar Garbled Special Extra Bold (MGSEB) and Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB), which are often praised for their bold flavors and rich aromas
  • Sri Lankan black pepper is known to have a higher essential oil content, contributing to its potent aroma and rich flavor profile.
  • Sri Lankan black pepper often finds its place in high-end gourmet markets, showcasing its premium status and desirability.


But what makes Sri Lanka Black Pepper truly Unique?

  • Microclimates and Soil Diversity: Sri Lanka’s varied geography, from coastal regions to central highlands, provides distinct microclimates and soil types ideal for cultivating diverse pepper varieties. This results in a wide range of flavors and aromas that cater to discerning palates.
  • Generations of Expertise: The knowledge of pepper cultivation has been passed down through generations, refining techniques and practices to maximize quality. This deep-rooted expertise is a cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s spice legacy.
  • Global Demand for Excellence: In present times, the world’s culinary artisans, chefs, and spice enthusiasts recognize the value of Sri Lankan black pepper. Its pungent yet nuanced taste, along with its historical significance, make it a sought-after ingredient that elevates dishes to unparalleled heights.

But why use Black Pepper?

Black pepper has become quite the staple in international cuisine. But buyers of Goodfolks Organic Black Pepper tend to be gourmet chefs and customers seeking that level of exceptional taste and quality. What is it they are looking for? Why are they turning to Sri Lankan black pepper when they want their creations to pop?

Well here are a few points to consider:

Flavor Enhancement:

  • Black pepper adds a distinctive, pungent flavor to dishes, enhancing the overall taste profile.
  • Its mild heat and earthy undertones complement a wide range of ingredients.

Aromatic Depth:

  • The essential oils in black pepper contribute to its aromatic qualities, enhancing the olfactory experience of a dish.
  • Its aroma can elevate both savory and sweet dishes.

Versatile Use:

  • Black pepper is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of cuisines and dishes.
  • It enhances the flavor of meats, vegetables, sauces, soups, stews, and even beverages.

Balancing Sweetness:

  • In certain sweet dishes, a pinch of black pepper can balance out the sweetness, adding complexity and depth.

Digestive Aid:

  • Historically, black pepper has been used to aid digestion and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Its properties may help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes.

Preservative Properties:

  • In ancient times, black pepper was used as a preservative due to its antimicrobial properties, which helped extend the shelf life of foods.

Complements Other Spices:

  • Black pepper is often used in spice blends and recipes alongside other spices to create well-rounded and harmonious flavors.

Warmth and Comfort:

  • The warming sensation of black pepper can add a comforting element to dishes, especially during colder seasons.

Color Enhancement:

  • In some dishes, a sprinkling of black pepper can add a touch of contrast and visual appeal, enhancing presentation.

Medicinal Traditions:

  • In addition to its culinary use, black pepper has been valued for its potential health benefits in traditional medicine systems.

Modern Science Validation:

  • Recent studies have supported the notion that black pepper’s compound, piperine, may enhance nutrient absorption and possess other health-promoting properties.

Goodfolks sources Sri Lanka Black Pepper or Ceylon Black Pepper from Organic Certified farms from major black pepper growing regions. Goodfolks also maintains its own farmer network under its Regenerative Agriculture programme where natural farming is encouraged and produce is sourced primarily from home gardens and small estates.

Black pepper is sourced/harvested with close attention to the ideal methods recommended by experts (Ex: only fully ripe berries are harvested for use as black pepper). These are then transported via the railway network (to reduce carbon footprint) to our ISO Certified Processing Centre in Polgahawela.

We offer the following formats for Organic (and/or) Regenerative Agriculture based Black Pepper from Sri Lanka:

  • Whole black pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Crackled black pepper
  • Black Pepper Oil
  • Black Pepper Extract (Piperine)
  • Black Pepper Blends & Sauces

Health Benefits

Sri Lanka Black Pepper also comes with a host of health benefits.

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Contains antioxidants like piperine that can neutralize harmful free radicals.
  • Enhances Nutrient Absorption: Piperine improves the absorption of nutrients, including curcumin from turmeric.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Piperine may have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Digestive Aid: Traditionally used to aid digestion and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Weight Management Support: Piperine may influence metabolism and support weight management.
  • Cardiovascular Health: May positively affect heart health and potentially lower cholesterol levels.
  • Potential Anti-Cancer Effects: Studies suggest piperine’s potential to inhibit cancer cell growth.


  1. “Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Black Pepper” – Journal of Food Science and Technology (Link)
  2. “Effects of piperine on bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of curcumin in rats” – Planta Medica (Link)
  3. “Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of piperine” – Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Link)
  4. “Gastroprotective effects of dietary spices on experimental ulcer models” – Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (Link)
  5. “Piperine, a Major Constituent of Black Pepper, Inhibits Adipogenesis by Antagonizing PPARγ Activity in 3T3-L1 Cells” – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Link)
  6. “Black pepper and piperine reduce cholesterol uptake and enhance translocation of cholesterol transporter proteins” – The Journal of Natural Medicines (Link)
  7. “Piperine inhibits the invasive behavior of PC-3 prostate cancer cells via modulating NF-κB, MMP-9 and MAPK signaling pathways” – Life Sciences (Link)



The traditional supply chain of Black Pepper in Sri Lanka is characterized by small holder cultivations, decentralized purchasing, low quality product purchases and sales and the presence of a number of intermediaries who extract a share of the benefits that should accrue to the producers. By going direct to the farmer and collecting the spices, we are able to offer a better price that they would not otherwise get (most direct sales happen to a wholesale buyer in a nearby town).

These communities are also unaware of the level of sophistication demanded by the exporter market. We educate them on these requirements and train these farmers to offer a premium product that meets the stringent quality considerations of exports. Finally the process of picking cardamom can be dangerous. We believe that paying a price that would help these farmers upgrade their quality of life is the right thing to do, especially considering the dangers and challenges involved.



Sustainable pepper cultivation in Sri Lanka offers positive environmental impacts. Agroforestry preserves biodiversity and sequesters carbon. Soil health improves through organic practices, while water management conserves resources. Reduced chemical usage safeguards water and soil, and rural livelihoods are supported. Native species thrive, and habitat preservation reduces deforestation. Such eco-friendly approaches prevent erosion and enhance ecosystem health, fostering a harmonious balance between agriculture and the environment.


Source Areas & Varieties

The Diverse nature of Sri Lanka Black Pepper

Sri Lanka is home to several distinctive varieties of black pepper, each characterized by its unique flavor, size, and aroma. Here are some of the main varieties:

Malabar Garbled Special Extra Bold (MGSEB):

  • This is one of the most iconic black pepper varieties from Sri Lanka.
  • MGSEB peppercorns are known for their large size, plumpness, and tightly curled appearance.
  • The flavor is intense, bold, and aromatic, making it a sought-after choice for enhancing dishes.

Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB):

  • Named after the renowned port of Tellicherry in India, this variety is cultivated in Sri Lanka as well.
  • TGEB peppercorns are prized for their large size, distinct aroma, and pungent flavor.
  • Often considered superior due to its bold taste, it adds a rich depth to culinary creations.

Light Berries:

  • Grown in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka, light berries are known for their milder flavor and delicate aroma.
  • These berries are handpicked and carefully sun-dried to preserve their unique characteristics.
  • Light berries offer a different dimension to dishes, particularly those where a subtle pepper flavor is desired.

High Density Pepper (HDP):

  • This variety is characterized by its high density and rich flavor profile.
  • HDP peppercorns are known for their intense pungency and aromatic qualities.
  • The higher density contributes to a more concentrated flavor, making it a popular choice among chefs.

Sarawak Pepper:

  • While not native to Sri Lanka, Sarawak pepper from neighboring Malaysia is also cultivated in Sri Lanka.
  • This variety is valued for its bold flavor and unique earthy undertones.
  • Sarawak pepper adds a distinctive twist to culinary creations and is often favored for its complexity.

In Sri Lanka, black pepper cultivation spans across various geographic areas, each contributing to the unique flavor profiles and characteristics of the spice. Some of the main geographic regions where black pepper is grown include:

  1. Sabaragamuwa Province:
    • This region, located in the southwestern part of Sri Lanka, is known for its hilly terrain and favorable climate for black pepper cultivation.
    • Sabaragamuwa’s elevation and rainfall patterns provide optimal conditions for the growth of high-quality black pepper.
  2. Central Province:
    • The Central Province, which includes areas like Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, has varying elevations that create diverse microclimates suitable for black pepper cultivation.
    • The cool and humid climate in these areas contributes to the development of distinctive flavor profiles in the black pepper.
  3. Southern Province:
    • The Southern Province, encompassing areas like Galle and Matara, is another region where black pepper is cultivated.
    • The coastal influence in these areas, combined with the tropical climate, contributes to the growth of pepper plants.
  4. North Central Province:
    • The North Central Province, with cities like Anuradhapura, is known for its arid climate and less humid conditions.
    • Despite the drier environment, black pepper is grown in this region with the help of irrigation systems.
  5. Eastern Province:
    • The Eastern Province, including areas like Batticaloa and Trincomalee, features a mix of coastal and inland regions suitable for black pepper cultivation.
    • The moderate climate and availability of water sources contribute to pepper production in this region.
  6. North Western Province:
    • The North Western Province, which includes Kurunegala and Puttalam, also engages in black pepper cultivation.
    • The region’s climate and soil conditions support the growth of pepper plants.

These geographic areas showcase the diversity of Sri Lanka’s landscape and its suitability for black pepper cultivation.

You may also like…

  • Goodfolks Organic White Pepper from Sri Lanka - Ceylon White Pepper

    Organic Sri Lanka (Ceylon) White Pepper

    Premium, ethically sourced
  • Organic-Ceylon-Cardamom-from-Goodfolks-Sri-Lanka-1

    Organic Sri Lankan Cardamom

    Premium, ethically sourced
  • Ceylon Nutmeg Supplier - Organic Sri Lanka Nutmeg from Goodfolks - Regenerative Agriculture

    Organic Sri Lankan Nutmeg (Ceylon Nutmeg)

    Premium, ethically sourced
  • Organic-Ceylon-Cloves-from-Goodfolks-Sri-Lanka-1

    Organic Sri Lankan Cloves

    Premium, ethically sourced