The Real Price of Madagascar’s Vanilla Boom

By David Pilling

In the humid Sava region of northern Madagascar, where vanilla vines grow in the shaded canopy of the jungle, villagers guard their crop as though it were a precious metal. Well they might. Strong demand for natural vanilla, speculation, bad harvests and money laundering have driven prices as high as silver. Farmers often awake to find their vines stripped bare, carried off in the night by gangs of thieves filling orders for buyers in the far-off capital of Antananarivo, who in turn supply the markets of western Europe, the US and Asia.

Vanilla Program to Help Madagascar Farmers


by Bridget Christenson

Nourishing Lives. At General Mills, this is our mission. Every day this mission comes to life through the work we do to benefit people and communities around the world. This includes the farmers that grow the crops our business relies upon to make the products our consumers know and trust.

Häagen-Dazs and General Mills to Help Smallholder Vanilla Farmers Increase Yields and Improve Sustainability Practices in Madagascar

New vanilla sourcing program builds on company’s commitment to improving the lives of smallholder farmers in developing countries
Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 20, 2013 /3BL Media/ – General Mills and Häagen-Dazs today announced an initiative designed to foster greater economic vitality for smallholder vanilla farmers in Madagascar and ensure the availability of high quality vanilla for future generations.

General Mills Awards Grant to Improve Sustainability of Vanilla Plant

Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) - June 30, 2011 - General Mills recently announced a $200,000 grant to researchers at the University of California-Davis to map the vanilla genome and to research natural crop improvements that will lead to a more sustainable supply of cultivated vanilla.

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