30 Mar '16, 9am

Vanilla prices triple in year as supply falls, quality slips - Arkansas Online

The price of the vanilla beans used to flavor everything from ice cream and chocolate to cola and pastries more than tripled in the past year as output slipped and quality suffered. That should have been a boon for top producer Madagascar, the island nation off Africa's southeast coast. Instead, the government is imposing measures to improve supply and quality to protect its market share. At a time when Nestle SA and Whole Foods Market Inc. are using more natural flavors in food products, vanilla demand is growing, particularly in developing countries. But a prolonged price slump led to smaller global harvests. And in Madagascar, which supplies half the world's beans, farmers took shortcuts in the process used to create the aromatic qualities prized by consumers. "The branding of Madagascar vanilla in the international market is threatened," Commerce Minister Henri Rabesah...

Full article: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/mar/30/vanilla-pr...

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