Our Vava’u Vanilla program story
Queen has been actively involved for many years in international programs to assist the vanilla industry. These programs aim to improve the quality of vanilla and ensure that farmers are fairly paid for their beans.
We are very proud of our latest program running in Vava’u Tonga. The vanilla industry in Tonga had remained mostly dormant for a decade. Damage from cyclones and unstable market conditions resulted in growers not cultivating their land. Both the Tongan vanilla industry and the local farmers faced a bleak future.
Queen introduced a reclamation program in Vava’u in March this year. This program offers farmers funding and support to reclaim and re-establish their plantations. We also help them achieve higher prices for their beans by assisting them to gain organic certification and by teaching them how to cure their own beans. Incredibly, more than 95% of Vava’u’s vanilla farmers joined with Queen and they are now looking towards a much brighter future.
We are thrilled to report that the program has recently begun a second stage of development with the growers forming their own Vanilla Association. This significant move ensures that the growers have a framework to help protect the sustainability of their industry with assistance from Queen.
Through this program that Queen pioneered, in conjunction with the Fairtrade Association and the Tongan Ministry of Agriculture, Tongan vanilla growers are now enjoying fairer prices, a reliable income and a viable industry.
We’re very happy to share this news. Now you know that when you choose Queen Vanilla products, you’re helping those farmers and their families, too.