Vanilla is one of the six focus sectors of IDH’s Fresh & Ingredients program, which provides cross-sector solutions on smallholder farmer livelihoods, working conditions, agrochemical use and climate change issues.
There is a clear sense of urgency from international food manufacturers and vanilla industry to tackle sustainability and quality issues in vanilla production and processing and improve sector transparency. This starts in Madagascar, where local stakeholders, including exporters and government, are also willing to engage in the required sector professionalization. Therefore, IDH re-convened and re-launched the existing Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI) in September 2015, in coordination with the US-based Sustainable Food Lab.
20 international companies had joined the new SVI so far, including major international food brands and flavor houses, based on plan to double the supply of (traceable) sustainably produced vanilla improve the livelihoods and income of at least 20,000 vanilla farmers, contribute to improve the quality of vanilla by significantly reducing early harvesting of green vanilla and addressing improper vacuum packing, and finally, contribute to better sector governance and transparency The program focusses on Madagascar in first instance, but has a global mandate.