Firmenich, Danone and Mars to invest in vanilla project in Madagascar
Firmenich, Danone and Mars intend to make a significant investment through Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F) in a large-scale, innovative vanilla farming model in Madagascar.
Involving 3,000 vanilla producers, the project will focus on increasing farmer’s food security, triple their revenues, and help them to provide sustainable and fully traceable vanilla over ten years.
Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine said: “Vanilla is one of the most popular flavours in the world, and Madagascar represents 80% of its supply.
“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.”
Madagascan non-governmental organisation (NGO) Fanamby will be responsible for implementing the project as a cooperative, owned directly by the farmers.
With the aim of increasing vanilla production, this project will train 3,000 local farmers on both sustainable practices and crop diversification.
Established in February 2015, Livelihoods 3F helps companies to sustainably source the materials they need from smallholder farmers.
The organisation is also planning to invest €120m by 2025 in order to provide financial assistance and technical support to NGOs and farmers’ cooperatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Livelihoods Venture co-founder and president Bernard Giraud said: “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.
“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.”
Image: Firmenich, Danone and Mars to invest in vanilla farming model in Madagascar. Photo: courtesy of Firmenich.