With more than 60% of the world production (1,100 to 1,400 tons per year), Madagascar is the largest exporter of vanilla. Despite this fact, the country is less dependent on this crop, as it represents only 10 to 15% of its total exports. Vanilla from Madagascar has a high rate of vanillin content and is organically grown.
Vanilla, the world’s most popular flavouring, is obtained from a climbing vine of the orchid family. Requiring hand-pollination, vanilla is one of the world’s most labour-intensive agricultural crops with the lowest yield, which explains its high selling price.
Vanilla is valued for its sweet flavour and scent. It is sold as whole beans, powders and extracts, and used for food flavourings in baked goods, beverages, candies, ice cream, syrups, perfumes, and chocolate. There are also many industrial applications such as the flavouring for medicines, and as a fragrance for paint, deodorizers, cleaning products, and so on.