Today we thought it would be fun to share some scenes from Madagascar – the source of ~90% of the world’s vanilla beans are from.

Many people think that saffron is the world’s most labor-intensive crop however vanilla beans are also very complex crops. Of 25,000-30,000 orchid species, vanilla is the only one that produces an edible fruit, and each orchid must be hand pollinated within 24 hours of blossoming. Vanilla farmers are often plighted with weather conditions and complex supply chains. We closely monitor market conditions in the growing regions, and we strive to source consistently priced vanilla products of superior quality.

Vanilla market conditions have deteriorated to their worst levels since 2002 with no natural disasters to blame. Speculation, high demand and low supply have all caused the price of vanilla beans to sharply rise and prices are now approaching 13-year highs with the completion of the Madagascar harvest in 2016. Madagascar represents 90% of the world’s vanilla beans and therefore can easily drive up prices in the marketplace.

Rodelle is working toward the future by inserting ourselves deeper into the vanilla-growing regions by working directly with farmer cooperatives that will eliminate extraneous costs. It is going to take time for conditions in the vanilla market to improve. Rodelle is committed to doing our part to make an impact by becoming fully sustainable in the vanilla growing regions. We are working very hard to lessen the impact of this price surge and are doing what we can to help improve prices. In the meantime, Rodelle will continue our 80-year tradition of creating quality vanilla products.