Vava’u – Tonga Vanilla
Our Vava’u Tonga Vanilla program started in March 2013, as small project to help re-establish a small number of vanilla gardens in Vava’u. But the passion and interest from the Tongan growers inspired us to develop a world-first vanilla assistance program.
Today the program represents a direct relationship with nearly 300 vanilla farmers and over 1,400 members of their families.
Our purpose is to help and support, meaning we provide funding, equipment and knowledge about the latest sustainable farming practices. The ultimate goal is to assist the Tongan industry to become sustainable now and into future and to bring this premium quality vanilla back to the market.
In May 2013 we established the Vanilla Growers Association, to unite the industry and ensure growers receive support and knowledge to grow world-class vanilla. The association also means Tonga Vanilla is run by the Tongan growers – Taylor & Colledge is just here to help.
More recently we’ve been helping growers set up and learn the process of curing their vanilla. Curing transforms the green tasteless bean to the deep brown aromatic vanilla pod we know. Taylor & Colledge is sharing our own special techniques that we have learnt over our 100 years of vanilla production. By curing their own beans, growers achieve a much higher dollar return for their crops. This is an important step in making vanilla growing sustainable for the future.
In addition to assist growers not-for-profit organisation Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand are partnering with the program to ensure farmers receive a fair price for their crops. Today, more than 95 per cent of the once-dormant plantations in Tonga are again producing vanill