Madagascar may be a small island but it reigns absolute in the world of vanilla, producing 80% of all the world’s harvest every year. It is the second-most expensive spice in the world, with kilo prices reaching almost $400 in the global market in 2016, and in the vanilla-producing SAVA region in the northern part of the island of Madagascar for most farmers it is the most precious cash crop they grow.

This TIE project is orchestrated by a collaborative partnership of private, public and non-governmental organisations, who have been working together for a number of years to help improve the livelihoods of vanilla farming communities in the SAVA region of Madagascar in a series of projects that has expanded further this year.

The programme is a partnership of SymriseGIZSave the Children and Unilever which has seen a unity of purpose aligned with different experiences and an array of different skills. This initiative addresses some of the complex social and economic issues that the people of the SAVA region face and by improving the way the vanilla supply chain can support farmers, their families and their communities it can help break an inter-generational cycle of poverty. It provides direct support to farmers, as well as the wider community, to improve their livelihoods, build more inclusive communities, and provide better opportunities for their children. The extended value chain has encompassed all aspects of sustainability including good agricultural practices, positive environmental impact, measurable poverty reduction, enhanced food security, and is now increasing its efforts to create positive social impact (particularly for children), to further boost educational goals and increase access to healthcare. Overall it supports many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The main objective of this TIE placement is to create a collection of case studies that bring to life how the contribution of all key stakeholders (Symrise, Unilever, GIZ, Save the Children and local delivery partners) are co-creating shared value and enabling positive change for the communities in the SAVA. 

Tara Beckefeld from adam&eveDDB is going to Madagascar in October to work with Symrise, Unilever, GIZ and Save the Children. Stay tuned for updates!