High quality organic products from Madagascar: Vanilla, Cinnamon, pink Peppercorn and Curcuma.
On the northeast coast of Madagascar is the land of the Betsimisaraka people, which in Malagasy means “The many inseparables”
Traditionally, this has been a rice-growing region. The trees produce a generous amount of fruit, such as mangos, avocados, lychees, etc., and there is an abundance of spices, like pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. The French settlers introduced vanilla, but after their departure, this expertise was all but forgotten and the quality of vanilla, like other local products, decreased significantly. The inadequacy of government strategies to deal with sustainable development, corruption, overexploitation of resources and climate change, has made life more precarious for a large part of the population here. They are sometimes unable to buy children’s school supplies or to have access to basic medical care.
Betsimis-Araka Association, based in Madagascar’s Fenerive-Est district as well as in France, has been working for several years with this region’s growers. The goal of the Association is to develop environmentally friendly production, within an approach of sustainable development and local fair trade. Currently, about 250 people directly benefit from this program
The Betsimis-Araka Association’s mission: To coordinate help for agricultural development in the Fenerive-Est region with the assistance of other partners. To ensure training and technical supervision during vanilla planting, pollination, harvesting and processing, as well as its quality. To help growers to manage their cooperative. To envision and develop other innovative projects.
The Association’s partners are: The local cooperatives: The Cooperative assembles vanilla growers in the region who comply with the specifications established by the Association.It manages the administrative tasks and coordinates activities related to vanilla production and processing.It also ensures the collection and storage of other products such as cloves, lychees, coffee, cinnamon, etc. Betsimis Fair Trade, Madagascar branch: This Betsimis Fair Trade branch manages activity financing and product purchasing in the Malagasy.It grants microloans at a rate of 0% to enable the planters to buy the necessary materials for their operation. It pre-finances the current year’s crops to prevent the growers from being short on cash and thus forced to sell their green vanilla at low prices. It finances the organic certification (Ecocert) for all products and plots, from harvest to export. Additionally, it offers growers a better-than-market price and provides a purchase guarantee for all crops meeting the previously-agreed quality criteria. Betsimis Fair Trade: This partner company’s mission is to market vanilla in Europe in strict compliance with ethical and organic values. Its objective is to promote local trade quality organic products, without unnecessary intermediaries, at a fair price.