Madagascar is the world’s largest producer of vanilla, exporting over 80% of the global supply. Following a cyclone that devastated the area, the country’s vanilla trade remains unstable, with prices continuing to rise and supply dwindling.

Cyclone Enawo hit the Island of Madagascar in March this year, devastating the local area and wiping out up to 80% of the annual yield. This followed two consecutive years of crop failure due to droughts, a consequence of El Niño weather patterns. With emergency aid the primary concern for the country, supply of vanilla has been scarce and production has been slow to restart.

Green vanilla pods.

There has been global concern over the future supply and quality of the pods during the period of instability. The overwhelming demand for the product, which is 100% natural and appeals to current consumer trends, has seen buyers seeking to secure sufficient stock for the winter period. This additional pressure could compromise overall quality as its sees commercial producers exporting quick cured and even green vanilla pods.

Cured Vanilla Pods.

These supply and demand issues, coupled with unfavourable currency movements, mean that further price increases can be expected universally across all vanilla products, with vanilla pods seeing the largest increase.

Littlepod vanilla paste and vanilla extract are an excellent way to continue to support the REAL vanilla campaign, as it relieves pressure on growers by making use of all pods harvested, regardless of shape or size. The products are versatile, and although prices may increase, will remain a more affordable and sustainable alternative to vanilla pods, without compromising on quality and flavour.