Current Vanilla Crisis and Likely Future Trends
Dr. Arvind Ranadive
Premier Vanilla, Inc.
In the last four decades there have been a number of ups and downs in the industry dependent on natural vanilla beans. Factors responsible for wide price fluctuations are, supply and demand of beans, climatic cycles, cyclones and fungal diseases like fusarium. However, only once before the current crisis, vanilla bean prices reached upwards of $600/kg. In 2002/2003 crisis, the main reason for the bean shortage was due to devastating cyclone “Hudda” that hit Madagascar and destroyed large vanilla crop. Government’s inability in Madagascar to control vanilla market and affliction of fusarium contributed to bean shortage. Current crisis however does not seem to be due to shortage of beans since Madagascar crops have been in normal range for the last number of years. Reasons for the current crisis appear to be lack of understanding of the market, ignorance and nefarious activities by speculators. So what is the future for the vanilla industry? We will show the trends and discuss it’s implications.
Dr. Arvind Ranadive is the President of Premier Vanilla, Inc. Since 1980 he has worked in the field of vanilla chemistry, cultivation, curing, and technology and has continued offering consultation services in those areas without jeopardizing his role as a specialty vanilla products producer. He has worked on vanilla cultivation in Indonesia, Costa Rica, Uganda, and conducted vanilla workshops in Uganda and Guatemala, given seminars on vanilla in India and the Peoples Republic of China and has visited in Mexico. He has participated as a speaker in every vanilla conference organized by Bakto Flavors. Dr. Ranadive has published 15 research papers in the areas of Vanilla, Tea, and polyphenol chemistry and has written a number of book chapters on Vanilla. vanilliaries