• Pricey pods

    Pricey pods

    Despite tropical storm Enawo wreaking havoc in Madagascar, damaging around 30% of its vanilla crop, the island is still expected to produce 80% of the world’s vanilla. But it will come at a price.

    After assessing the damage and meeting with the country’s suppliers as well as government officials, US vanilla manufacturer Nielsen Massey compiled its 2017 Crop Report, which states that vanilla prices are expected to exceed US$475 per kilogram this year.

    In fact, uncertainty over harvest production has sent vanilla prices soaring – they quadrupled in the last few years. According to Quartz Africa, a kilogram of vanilla sold for roughly US$60 in 2014 and shot to between US$225 to US$240 per kilogram in 2016.

    The price increase has also led to an influx of crime, with armed robbers ripping vines out of the ground – forcing farmers to guard their only produce by sleeping in the fields.

    13 June 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images