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Under the skin of the world’s best bean

Vanilla beans
  • Explore our travel book
  • Watch the video
  • Our vanilla is ethically sourced
  • Responsible sourcing programme
Explore our travel book
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L’Heure Bleue, Obsession, Opium, Shalimar… these iconic, exotic fragrances owe much of their appeal to the warm, soft and indulgent notes of vanilla. 

The sweet scent of the world’s favourite bean has a familiar aroma that is indulgent and luxurious. However, its popularity among consumers also means that supplies of natural vanilla must be carefully stewarded if we are to ensure its supply over the long-term.

A complex web of suppliers

Almost 80% of the world’s vanilla is sourced from Madagascar, where it is produced and collected from many villages in a complex supply chain that often involves several intermediaries. This fragile industry depends on small groups of producers, which is why it is even more essential to ensure traceability along the supply chain. By joining all producers together to reach the same goals, we can guarantee that this delicious bean is being sourced, grown and harvested in an ethical, sustainable.

Watch the video
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Watch the video

Our vanilla is ethically sourced
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Our vanilla is ethically sourced

This is why vanilla is included in Givaudan’s ethical sourcing programme, which focuses on a selection of special ingredients that are not only precious, but widely used. In Madagascar, we work directly with Malagasy vanilla farmers to help improve the yield and quality of their vanilla crop. We have an exclusive partnership with a local supplier Henri Fraise Fils who has been curing and exporting Malagasy vanilla since 1911. As part of our partnership with Henri Fraise, we pay premiums for quality, and offer vanilla planting and curing advice.

The best possible bean

By working hand in hand with our suppliers, we can also be sure that we constantly enhance the quality of vanilla used in our flavour and fragrance creations. Not only does sourcing vanilla in this way help ensure future supplies, but the use of technology and organic farming practices have also secured traceable and certifiable supplies of vanilla – both topics of considerable importance to customers.

The future smells sweet

However, it’s not just the bean we look after; it’s the villagers, too. They represent a prized source of knowledge, with age-old techniques, and we believe it essential to preserve their livelihoods and their industry now, and for future generations. To ensure the entire community benefits from the industry, our programme includes an educational aspect, whereby we help renovate and build schools. 

Facts about vanilla

Vanilla is the world’s most popular scent and taste
Vanilla is part of the orchid family and the plants are pollinated by hand
It takes up to nine months to produce the perfect vanilla pod
This little bean put Madagascar on the map, opening the world’s main trade routes
As part of our ethical sourcing vanilla programme, which encompasses 2,000 villagers and their families, we have built or repaired 14 schools
Responsible sourcing programme
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Responsible sourcing programme

We have always shown leadership in responsible sourcing, traceability, and transparency to meet our customer, consumer and environmental needs and expectations; Givaudan was the first in the flavours and fragrances industry to publish a responsible sourcing policy. Sourcing4Good is based on collaboration and knowledge-sharing, experience and expert input from suppliers, customers and partners.