The vanilla's meeting

High prices and illegal shipments of inferior quality have badly affected Madagascar's status as premier vanilla producer.

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- MADAGASCAR has been steadily losing its market share for vanilla, one of its major export commodities. In the early 1970s, 70 per cent of the vanilla consumed worldwide came from Madagascar. This has declined now to 50 per cent as high prices and illicit shipments of poor quality vanilla are prompting consumers to look for cheaper alternative sources.

One kg of vanilla fetches more than $70, though the official procurement price is a mere $1.04 per kg. Though the government has sought to control every aspect of vanilla production, illicit vanilla exports have continued to increase.

The high price of Madagascar's vanilla has resulted in increasing partial substitution of other natural aromas for vanilla and the shift to cheaper synthetic vanillin flavouring. Besides, vanilla production is on the rise in Indonesia and Uganda.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.