Vanilla is a vital ingredient that is widely used in many industries, including food, cosmetics, and perfume. 80% of global vanilla production is concentrated in Madagascar, but did you actually know that Mexico is the country of origin of the vanilla? Cocoa and vanilla are Mexican achievements that have enriched the kitchens of the world for centuries. The Aztecs treated cocoa beans like coins & since centuries the finest gourmet's vanilla is grown here and produced through elaborated procedures in traditional ways. Here, in the heart of Mexico, the history of quite a special pleasure begins.
The vanilla originally comes from Mexico & is also known by the Nahuatl names ixtlilxochitl or tlilxóchitl (black flower), totonaco xanath, cacixanatl by the Aztecs who already used it to soften the bitter taste of chocolate. The Totonacs, inhabitants of the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, were the first to know about vanilla cultivation. The Totonaks kept the monopoly of vanilla cultivation until the 19th century, because all efforts by Europeans to grow vanilla failed elsewhere than in their country of origin.
Ludwig the 14th fell in love with taste of vanilla and wanted to grow it on the island of Bourbon, now known as Reunion. But all attempts under his rule were doomed to fail. For a long time, only Mexican bees were able to pollinate vanilla flowers. In 1837 the Belgian botanist Charles Morren discovered that the vanilla flower is pollinated by the social and stingless Melipona bee, which occurs only in Mexico, obviating natural pollination in other countries. But it was not until a 12-year-old slave,Edmond Albius (1829 – 1880) on the island of Bourbon, invented hand pollination of the orchid blossoms .Since then, vanilla has been grown in many tropical areas of the world.
Vanilla-Trade's goal is to develop a sustainable, traceable, and high quality supply chain that respects the integrity of natural ecosystems and helps to improve the living conditions of the vanilla growing communities established troughout Mexico. We progate the organization of cooperatives, organic farming, conservation of tropical forest, fair prices and community development. This direct-trade model allows us to pay farmers a premium price for exceptional vanilla beans, and still provide competitive prices for our customers.
In keeping with its vision and mission and to achieve its sustainable development objectives, Vanilla-Trade is committed to several points regarding its partners, its employees and its customers.
Develop sustainable vanilla production in agroforastal enviorment as a primary or secondary cash crop , to ensure a stable income for producers in order to improve their productivity & income.
Organize and structure producer associations (organization,providing know-how, plants & tools, training, quality by good practices, organic farming).
Ensure producers are paid a fair price for their products by offering a base price and a participation in the actual sales price.
Tracebility by installing a system which makes the vanilla cearly tracable from the farming area to the final destination.
Reserving a percentage of its turnover to sustainable conservation actions of the protected areas.
Foster interaction between producers, distributors, consumers and environmental protection stakeholders.