Thanks to its sensual and exquisite aromas, vanilla is a commodity which is extensively traded across the globe. Armed guards are hired to prevent the theft of crops in the tropical jungle. This year however, it is not the quality of the 2015 Madagascan pods that is arousing so much interest, but the sky-high prices, which approach $300 dollars a kilo1.
Yoann Cassam Chenai, a leading expert on vanilla, has his own opinion on the subject: “World demand has exploded and supply cannot keep pace. Madagascar recorded a 35% drop in production in 2015 due to a poor harvest. The pods are smaller and only contain 1.2% vanillin, compared to 1.8% in 2014. This means that the 2015 harvest of Madagascan vanilla will be overlooked in favour of remaining stocks of 2014 and 2013 vanilla, or that from other countries.”