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The wild economics of plain vanilla.

The wild economics of plain vanilla. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla, in its essence, is an adventure story.

By the 1980s, Madagascar was producing about 30% of the world's supply. Government controls kept prices tethered pretty tightly, to around $50 or $60 per kilo for cured beans. Then, under pressure from the World Bank, which they owed a lot of money to, Madagascar was forced to abandon those price controls in the mid-1990s.

Prices dipped for a year or two. Then, in 2000, a powerful cyclone flattened the northeastern part of the country. It takes three years for a newly planted orchid to produce beans, so harvests waned for the next few years, causing prices to spike, then collapse.

For the past four years, prices have been riding high again, flirting with the $600 mark in 2018 and rarely falling below $400 since. (The going rate this fall was about $420 per kilo.) The spike is sometimes attributed to a 2015 announcement by Nestlé SA that the company would use only all-natural vanilla in its products instead of imitation flavoring. Other companies followed suit...

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La campagne de commercialisation et d’exportation de vanille a officiellement débuté à Madagascar.

La campagne de commercialisation et d’exportation de vanille a officiellement débuté à Madagascar. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

La campagne de commercialisation et d’exportation de vanille préparée a officiellement démarré hier suivant la disposition fixée par le ministère du Commerce. La campagne durera six mois et prendra fin le 31 mars 2020 dans toutes les régions productrices de Madagascar.

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Vanilla Boom Is Making People Crazy Rich - And Jittery - In Madagascar.

Vanilla Boom Is Making People Crazy Rich - And Jittery - In Madagascar. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

80% of the world's vanilla is grown by small holding farmers in the hilly forests of Madagascar. For a generation the price languished below $50 a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) but in 2015 it began to rise at an extraordinary rate and for the past four years has hovered at ten times that amount, between $400 and $600 a kilo.

A new vanilla economy had bubbled up — big shiny 4x4s lined up in the gas stations andfleets of new yellow tuk-tuk taxis throng the roads in the towns in contrast to poorer regions where hand-pulled carts are the main form of transport. Cash has brought opportunity but also crime.

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Madagascar : Bon prix de la vanille cette année.

Madagascar : Bon prix de la vanille cette année. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

La saison de la campagne de la vanille a été ouverte le mois de juillet dernier pour la région SAVA et la plupart des zones de production dans le nord de l'Île. La commercialisation s'est bien effectuée depuis l'ouverture de cette campagne. Les producteurs de la vanille se sentent très satisfaits sur le prix du kilo cette année 2019, surtout dans la région Nord-est de Madagascar. C'est l'une des productions qui rend vive l'économie de l'État malgache grâce à l'abondance de l'exportation menée sur le commerce international. Le prix du kilo de la vanille (vanille verte) s'élève actuellement à 220 000 ariary contre environ 160 000 ariary l'année dernière. La production est bonne et le prix est satisfaisant même s'il y a des difficultés et des obstacles, selon les paysans.

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Deserting Vanilla: Why Karnataka's vanilla farmers have given up.

Around 12 years ago, there were more than 3000 farmers growing vanilla in Karnataka, a state in the south western region of India, but they have now all but abandoned its cultivation in spite of the demand for natural vanilla.

It was in 2007 that vanilla cultivation in Karnataka reached its peak. International buyers were then willing to pay Rs 30,000 for each kilo of dried vanilla beans grown in the state but ever since the price of the crop dropped, vanilla farmers in the southern Indian state have all but abandoned the cultivation of the spice.

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Why is vanilla so expensive?

In 2014 vanilla was $80 a kilo. Three years later it was $600. Today it’s around $500. The price rise is due in part to global demand. The trend of eating naturally means that food companies have shunned synthetic flavouring in favour of the real deal. Beni and the other farmers are cashing in. But things can change very quickly. Price fluctuations affect producers of agricultural commodities everywhere but vanilla is particularly volatile. In just a few weeks the price can jump, or plummet, by over 20%.

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Mexico: Protecting vanilla′s only natural pollinators.

Mexico: Protecting vanilla′s only natural pollinators. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla's native Mexico is the only place in the world where the fragrant orchid is pollinated without human help. But pesticides threaten to wipe out the insects that do the job, in turn threatening human livelihoods.

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Le marché de la vanille se rééquilibre lentement.

Le marché de la vanille se rééquilibre lentement. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

La vanille a vu son marché se rééquilibrer en 2018, après trois années de flambée des prix. Mais la récolte à venir à Madagascar cette année risque d'être moins bonne que l'an dernier. La récolte de la vanille verte pourrait n'intervenir qu'à partir de mi-août, voire septembre, soit deux mois après la date normale. En 2018, les prix ont cessé de grimper et se sont même repliés un peu, même s'ils restent élevés, autour de 400 dollars la tonne. Surtout la consommation de vanille a considérablement chuté : à 1 900 tonnes en 2018, elle est anticipée à 1 700 tonnes seulement cette année, contre 2 800 tonnes consommées en 2013-2014.

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Le Cirad met au point Handa, une nouvelle variété de vanille.

Une des maladies les plus ravageuses pour la vanille est la fusariose. C’est pourquoi une équipe de chercheurs du Cirad de Saint-Denis de la Réunion a conçu Handa. Handa est peut-être l’avenir de la vanille.

Elle représente probablement la plus grande avancée agronomique pour cette orchidée terrestre depuis le XIXème siècle. Sous les serres du Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (Cirad), les chercheurs sont satisfaits.

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Christmas trees, coffee and vanilla among poorly protected plants.

Christmas trees, coffee and vanilla among poorly protected plants. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The indicator was developed by CIAT in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the US Department of Agriculture, and a number of universities and conservation organisations.

The Useful Plants Indicator scores almost 7,000 useful wild plants from 220 countries on a scale of 1-100, with 100 meaning fully protected. Any plant rated 75 or higher is “sufficiently conserved.” Low, medium and high priority for conservation is reflected by scores of 74-50, 49-25 and 24-0, respectively. The indicator equally weighs in situ plant conservation – in protected areas like national parks – and ex situ conservation, which covers plants safeguarded in gene banks, botanical gardens and other conservation repositories.

Coffea liberica, a wild coffee plant that used to make a caffeinated brew in parts of Africa and sought by coffee breeders for its disease resistance, scores only 32.3 out of 100 on the indicator. The wild ancestor of the connoisseur’s preferred bean, C. arabica, does not fare much better, scoring 33.8. Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) and cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) score 39.8 and 23.0.

The full findings of the study will be published in the journal Ecological Indicators in March 2019.

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L'histoire à la carte: la vanille, venue des colonies

L'histoire à la carte: la vanille, venue des colonies | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Thierry Marx propose, pour L'Histoire à la Carte, une recette de homard à la vanille, d'après Alain Senderens. La colonisation a permis d'introduire dans la gastronomie française les ingrédients les plus variés. La vanille - venue d'Amérique centrale, commercialisée à La Réunion puis surtout en Polynésie - est de ceux-là.

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How fortunes are being made and lost in Madagascar's vanilla boom.

How fortunes are being made and lost in Madagascar's vanilla boom. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla is big money in a nation that produces up to 80 per cent of the world's natural vanilla, but which hangs around the bottom of global poverty lists. On the streets of Madagascar's vanilla capital Sambava, fast-moving hustlers trade the bean like drugs.

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Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - November 2018.

Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - November 2018. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The 2018 vanilla campaign opened officially in Madagascar on October 15th tinged with both optimism (lower prices and vastly improved quality) and uncertainty (very slow and late flowering for 2019). There are now over 140 accredited exporters of vanilla in the country, with many capital hungry collectors trying to make the jump to exporter.  Most have scant experience in the preparation and export of vanilla and will most likely exit from the trade as the most recent crisis abates. Some will go on to become legitimate vanilla exporters. The crop size is expected to be between 1500 – 1700mt which is better than expected thanks to the crop maturity. 

Many buyers expected lower prices in 2018 and are holding back in the hopes this will materialize in the months ahead as unsold vanilla accumulates on the ground. Prices are still at historically very high levels and there is plenty of room on the downside. Three months ago, this may have been the correct strategy, however a very lackluster flowering season for 2019 thus far has changed sentiment on the ground in Madagascar. Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in flowering in the weeks ahead the demand for 2018 vanilla could increase considerably. Heavy rains in August, September and much of October have hampered the flowering. Lately there has been improvement but most regions are reporting far fewer flowers per vine than last year.

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Indian farmers taste success with vanilla beans.

Indian farmers taste success with vanilla beans. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Higher returns from the crop had encouraged more farmers to take up vanilla cultivation where the number has gone up to 3,000 in regions spread across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The production in India has registered a 10 per cent growth, touching around 40 tonnes, thanks to a conducive climate prevailing in producing regions. However, there is no official data to substantiate production figures and the months of October, November and December are considered as the harvest season of vanilla.
Countries such as Indonesia, Uganda, Madagascar have already started cultivating new crop, which would take two more years to get the yield.

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The bitter side of Madagascar's vanilla business.

The bitter side of Madagascar's vanilla business. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The vanilla trade is big business in Madagascar, so authorities have taken a tough stance on its theft. Crime involving vanilla can lead to imprisonment, often in appalling conditions.

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Vanilla grown the old-fashioned way spices up plant life.

Vanilla grown the old-fashioned way spices up plant life. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla is often belittled as bland, but surveys now show that demand for this flavouring can have grave results: some vanilla farms endanger plant biodiversity. The good news is that old-fashioned forest-covered vanilla plantations could be less of a threat than industrial-style modern cultivation.

About 80% of the world’s vanilla, which is made from seed pods of the bourbon vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia), is produced in Madagascar. Sam Cotton at the Bristol Zoological Society, UK, and his colleagues tallied the number and types of plants in natural forests in northeast Madagascar, where most of the island’s vanilla is cultivated, and on various types of vanilla plantations.

There were about 70% fewer plant species in intensively managed plantations — where the original vegetation has been removed or altered — than in natural forests.

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Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - May 2019.

Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - May 2019. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

In 2004 at the end of the last vanilla crisis, prices fell almost 90% over a twelve-month period, and fell a further 60% in the seven years that followed. Could a similar decline occur now that the most recent crisis has abated? For now, we are doubtful as global demand remains weak. However, a smaller than predicted crop in Madagascar may create some short-term supply headaches. Furthermore, although diminished, globally there is a far greater broad-based demand for natural vanilla beans than there was in 2004. Most major industrial users of vanilla have assumed the same strategy, keeping inventories as low as possible and buying over the short and medium term. Although vanilla bean prices fell significantly from levels that eclipsed USD 600.00/kg in 2018, we are still at what would be considered historically high prices with ample downward exposure. There is still some unsold high-quality vanilla on the ground in Madagascar from the 2018 crop as the harvest for 2019 commences in the northern part of the country. There are hold outs in other origins as well. In the months ahead we expect efforts will be made to liquidate these stocks as vanilla harvests progress in the growing regions. At this point, after a relatively calm cyclone season we have a very hard time seeing any path to higher prices.

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Uganda strategizes to reap from rising global vanilla demand.

Uganda strategizes to reap from rising global vanilla demand. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Uganda's ministry of agriculture on Tuesday urged vanilla farmers in the east African country to take advantage of the rising global demand for the flavoring product. Ministry of agriculture figures showed that in 2018, Uganda produced about 300,000 kg of vanilla and exported 23,000 kg of cured vanilla worth 6.4 million U.S. dollars. Uganda accounts for about five percent of the global production. "We have a window of opportunity to secure a growing longterm profitable vanilla sector.
Vanilla has proved to be a sustainable and profitable crop for farmers in Uganda that has potential to deliver the country into the medium income status," Kibanzanga said. The minister urged farmers to desist from harvesting premature vanilla, noting that this would compromise the quality and therefore less demand for Ugandan vanilla on the global market. The minister announced that the harvest dates will start on June 15, for the first season and December 15 for the second season.

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Vanilla fever.

Vanilla fever. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

How did hunger for the humble vanilla pod lead to greed, crime and riches? The Economist travels to Madagascar to meet the new spice barons.

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A qui profite le prix de la vanille?

A qui profite le prix de la vanille? | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Mais à plus de 500 USD/kg, à qui profite le prix de la vanille ?

À toutes celles et ceux qui produisent et/ou commercialisent de la vanille et/ou qui bénéficient indirectement des retombées économiques dans cette région du monde. Le modèle libéraliste permet l’instabilité des prix, bon gré mal gré. Les réjouissances pourraient laisser place à la décrépitude. Sur le terrain, la situation ne réjouit pas les professionnels consciencieux, car ils sont les témoins impuissants du mépris d’une filière durable. Ce sont les premiers à mettre la main aux portefeuilles pour garantir aux citoyens du Nord un produit de qualité unique capable d’entrer en concurrence avec son « homologue » chimique.

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En México, por la inseguridad, la vainilla está en peligro de extinción.

En México, por la inseguridad, la vainilla está en peligro de extinción. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

La vainilla es el oro negro mexicano. Después del azafrán, es la segunda especia más cara en el mundo: un kilo puede alcanzar 700 dólares, unos 14 mil pesos.

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University of Florida Scientists Sequence Vanilla Genome.

University of Florida Scientists Sequence Vanilla Genome. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The U.S. leads the world in imported vanilla beans, said Alan Chambers, an assistant professor of tropical fruit breeding and genetics at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Madagascar grows about 80 percent of the world’s vanilla, but that island lies thousands of miles from the companies that buy vanilla beans and convert them to extract.

That’s why Chambers is leading a group of scientists trying to develop new Vanilla varieties to grow in Florida.

In new research published in the journal Scientific Reports, Chambers and Elias Bassil -- a UF/IFAS assistant professor of plant stress physiology -- led a group of researchers that established a Vanilla collection with 112 potentially unique individuals.

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La vanille de La Réunion en passe d’obtenir l’Indication Géographique Protégée.

La vanille de La Réunion en passe d’obtenir l’Indication Géographique Protégée. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Tandis que le réchauffement climatique conduit à cultiver toujours plus haut la vanille réunionnaise, celle-ci, menacée par la fusariose, fait l’objet de recherches importantes du CIRAD depuis une dizaine d’années. Ces recherches entrées dans une phase de développement chez des agriculteurs commencent à porter leurs fruits, permettant à la vanille de La Réunion d’être en passe d’obtenir l’Indication géographique protégée (IGP). 

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The painful process of pollinating vanilla.

The painful process of pollinating vanilla. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Every flower in a vanilla orchard must be hand pollinated on the one day of the year they are in bloom. Hand pollination is fiendishly difficult to get right. The technique was invented by a 12-year-old slave, Edmond Albius, on the island of Reunion in the 1840s. It involves carefully opening an orchid, folding back part of the flower with a smooth orange thorn, and delicately pressing the male and female parts of the flower together. If you press too hard or try to pollinate a few hours too early or late, you'll kill the orchid.

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La vanille bleue, l'épice rare qui fascine les chefs pâtissiers.

La vanille bleue, l'épice rare qui fascine les chefs pâtissiers. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

De la vanille bleue, mais quésaco ?

Contrairement à la bourbon, que l'on déshydrate une fois récoltée, la vanille bleue subit un à deux ans de séchage et de préparation, afin de préserver le potentiel maximal d’arôme de la gousse. Ainsi, sa pulpe continue d'évoluer et son arôme s'intensifie avec le temps. De ce fait, son goût et son parfum sont davantage prononcés.

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