Tracking Vanilla In Tanzania

At Natural Extracts Industries, Ltd. we are proud of the high-quality standards we have set for sustainable vanilla production in Tanzania.  Each year we strive to improve the processes from planting, cultivation, pollination, harvesting, purchasing and finally the curing.  How vanilla from other countries comes to market has been the target of mystery and sometimes even stories of farmer exploitation.

So, now more than ever it has become important to track the source of vanilla we collect from our farmers to provide added transparency and accountability into the supply chain of our vanilla.  As we move to certify farms producing organic vanilla, it will provide additional assurances that our farmers continue to be paid fairly and ensure certified farms continue to use best practices.

Aarti Mahajan, who joined the NEI team to lead the initiative to deploy an ICT platform, called Source Trace,  to our farmer network says, “Source Trace provides complete visibility of our vanilla from the farm to our factory.  The ease of use of the interface allows us to distribute tablets with the Source Trace application to our lead farmers.  Source Trace is a powerful tool that allows the NEI team to access real-time data anytime from anywhere in the world.”

Working with partners like Source Trace provides NEI with the forward-looking technology that will continue to make us a leading provider of the highest quality vanilla available on the world market.

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March Cyclone in Madagascar

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Madagascar as they recover from the Tropical Cyclone Enawo that hit the island in early March. It was a very powerful storm, and the due to the remote nature of the areas hardest hit an accurate assessment of the impact is difficult.

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The storm hit directly in the country’s primary vanilla-producing region, and this has created wild speculation on the future price of vanilla which has been rising over the last year. The immediate impact has been the increasing prices of vanilla in the global market, in part because of concerns that the beans salvaged from the storm will be brought prematurely to market.

For Natural Extracts Industries, Ltd. and the farmers in our network, there has been an impact as well. The farmers have been inundated with requests to purchase vanilla pods, and this drives up the cost of our raw vanilla as well.

We would like to assure all our customers that we will continue to source, process and cure only the highest quality of vanilla to maintain the integrity of our products. Until we can assess the long-term impact of the situation, we will continue to supply the customers who have been supporting our mission and our farmers.

Please take a moment to read further these reports about the storm, and its impact on Madagascar.

Featured photo: Tropical Cyclone “Enawo on March 3, 2017. Credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS