Firmenich Invests in Second Major Madagascar-Based Vanilla Project

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With the help of Danone and Mars, Firmenich is investing in a large-scale vanilla farming model in Madagascar through Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F). The project involves 3,000 vanilla producers and aims to increase food security, while tripling their revenue and providing sustainable, high-quality vanilla over a 10-year span.

Vanilla  is  one  of  the  most  popular  flavors  in  the  world,  and  Madagascar  represents 80%  of  its  supply,”  said  Gilbert  Ghostine,  CEO  Firmenich.  “That’s  why  Firmenich  has  been  working  with  smallholder  farming  communities  in  Madagascar  for  many  years  to  support their sustainable livelihoods by  driving the most ethical and traceable value chain. Taking our  commitment  to  the  next  level,  with  Livelihoods  3F,  we  are  innovating  with  a  new vanilla  farming model, based on diversifying farmers’ crops for more balance and security.”

Firmenich has maintained a strong presence in Madagascar since their first partnership with Authentic, a member of its Naturals Together program, in 2005. Currently, the Savanille cooperative, founded by Authentic, includes over 3,000 vanilla famers across 38 villages across Madagascar.

“We believe the Livelihoods-Vanilla project can make a difference because it enables farmers to regain control of their vanilla  production,  and  vanilla  users  of  their  sourcing,”  said  Bernard Giraud,  co-founder  &  president  of  Livelihoods  Venture. “Through  the  Livelihoods  Fund, private  companies,  NGOs  and  public  authorities  can  combine  their  commitments  and efforts  to  support  a  mutually  beneficial  model  over  the  long  term  in  the  economic, social  and  environmental spaces.”