Firmenich has announced a partnership with Authentic Products, a producer in Madagascar, to further strengthen its responsible sourcing of vanilla.
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This agreement includes a new digital traceability program to help aide responsible sourcing. More than half of the 5,000 vanilla farmers currently taking part in the traceability program are already registered with the new digital solution, guaranteeing enhanced transparency of conventional vanilla purchasing, from plant to the final extracts.
The agreement also includes the joint construction of an agricultural training facility offering teenagers from Madagascan vanilla-growing families a unique opportunity to improve their livelihoods. The agricultural training center of Mahadera, which has been up and running since January 2020, stretches over 20 hectares of cultivated land. The new facility offers local rural youth the opportunity to acquire a solid agricultural background in vanilla growing and crop diversification and also develop skills in economics.
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Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich said, “Firmenich has been working with smallholder farming communities in Madagascar for many years to support their sustainable livelihoods by driving the most sustainable, ethical and traceable value chain. With Authentic Products, Firmenich has developed a leading sustainable business model with the objective of registering 10,000 farmers in our traceability program by 2025, as well as offering educational opportunities of unprecedented scale for local youth at our remarkable training center in Mahadera.”
Boet Brinkgreve, president of ingredients said, “Taking our commitment to the next level, this partnership is the outcome of a more than a decade-long relationship based on mutual trust between Firmenich and Authentic Products. Together we are innovating for the benefit of farmers who produce this exceptional product, while strengthening our vanilla value chain from plants to extracts.”
Gigi Chan Hoi Mi, CEO of Authentic Products Madagascar said, “We share the same values of ethics and integrity with Firmenich’s teams. Our joint effort helps us make significant improvements for the communities who earn a living by growing vanilla. This partnership acknowledges the quality of work done over the years and encourages us to set even more ambitious goals going forward. It demonstrates that trusted relationships between producers and customers can have a really positive impact over time.”