Barry Callebaut expands initiative for sustainable vanilla in Madagascar

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Adou Cyrielle, a Barry Callebaut agro-economist and trainer, shares her expertise on cocoa growth with farmer coaches from Madagascar. Pic: Barry Callebaut
Adou Cyrielle, a Barry Callebaut agro-economist and trainer, shares her expertise on cocoa growth with farmer coaches from Madagascar. Pic: Barry Callebaut

Related tags Vanilla Barry callebaut Madagascar

A pioneering initiative by Barry Callebaut and Prova to improve the livelihoods of vanilla farmers in Madagascar has been expanded, the parties have announced.

Focused on developing cocoa as a supplemental source of income for farmers, the scheme was started in 2016 to support vanilla farmers in introducing cocoa trees on their farms, providing training to improve the productivity and quality of both vanilla and cocoa while also funding and supporting local communities through social, health and education programmes.

Vanilla farmers in Madagascar are heavily dependent on vanilla prices. When the price is low, many of them struggle to make ends meet. Barry Callebaut said that all its vanilla extract sources for the European market are now 100% sustainable.

Prova and Barry Callebaut, is supported by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and is part of Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate strategy to make sustainable chocolate the norm.

We are committed to having 100% sustainable ingredients in all our products by 2025​,” it claimed. “The we project started in 2016 in Bemanevika, Madagascar has proven to be a highly successful driver of 100% sustainable vanilla. Despite the challenges created by tropical cyclone Enawo in 2017, volatile vanilla prices and a global pandemic, our  collaboration with Prova has exceeded all expectations and a second phase is now being launched​.”

Massimo Selmo, Chief Procurement Officer at Barry Callebaut, said the long-term project has shown the value of partnering with its main vanilla supplier to achieve positive change in a challenging environment.

By combining our expertise in sustainability and cocoa we enabled farmers to diversify and therefore grow their income. The success of the past five years has prepared the ground for further expansion of both our partnership and of our commitment to sustainable vanilla and cocoa sourcing from Madagascar​.”

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