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Madagascar Vanilla : prepared with love

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Madagascar's Bourbon Vanilla is of exceptional quality. It can be used as an ingredient in dishes and recipes. It can also be an ingredient in cosmetic products or in various other fields (pharmaceuticals, household cleaning products, etc.).

Madagascar, the world's leading producer of vanilla

The cultivation of vanilla was introduced to Madagascar around 1880 by Reunion Island planters. Plantations are primarily concentrated in the eastern regions of the large island, particularly in the SAVA region with its favorable humid climate. By 1929, Malagasy production exceeded 1,000 tons, which was more than ten times that of Reunion Island. Today, Madagascar is the world's leading producer of vanilla, accounting for 80% of global production (Source: Wikipedia). Vanilla revenues constitute 7% of the country's GDP.

Vanilla preparation: 100% manual

No industrialization is possible if one wants to truly bring out the best of vanilla's aromas. From the green pods to our plates, each vanilla pod is massaged several times during the curing process to evenly distribute the seeds. This lengthy process can partly explain the high price of vanilla, especially that from Madagascar.

Hand-pollination of vanilla flowers

Cultivators take care and observe vanilla flowers daily. When they are fully bloomed and ready for pollination, cultivators rush to pollinate them one by one, manually, between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. because vanilla flowers are ephemeral.

Madagascar vanilla

It takes 8 to 10 months to obtain a mature vanilla pod, which is in the form of a long green pod (similar to a giant green bean!). It's at this stage that the vanilla can be made available for sale in the green vanilla market, which typically opens around June to July each year, depending on the season.

In Madagascar, the green vanilla market is regulated. The official opening date of the market and the minimum price per kilogram of green vanilla are set by decree. All stakeholders in the vanilla industry, including vanilla processors, must purchase their green vanilla at this market. Each village has its designated market day.

Cultivators bring their green vanilla to the market square and sell their products there. They have the opportunity to sell to the highest bidder. Market day is an opportunity for villagers to gather and celebrate the fruits of their fields.

Madagascar vanilla, Vanilla market

An art passed down from generation to generation

Every farmer-cultivator can make their own vanilla preparation, but there are professional vanilla processors as well. They possess exceptional expertise that enables them to bring out the best in vanilla. Several major exporters also undertake their own preparation.

Depending on the quality of the vanilla, it takes approximately 5 kilograms of green vanilla to produce 1 kilogram of prepared vanilla.

Green vanilla goes through several stages before becoming the black vanilla we all know. We invite you to watch the following video to see the steps involved in the vanilla preparation process from A to Z.

Madagascar Vanilla

MATANA is a Quebec company that markets products from Madagascar. Its main objective is to make Madagascar known through its endemic and exceptional products. Matana donates part of its profits to improve the living conditions of local farmers (Malagasy).

We rigorously choose the suppliers with whom we work, while respecting our values. Thus, Quebecers and Canadians will be able to access its exceptional products at affordable prices!

Visit our website to learn more.

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