The American flavor company Virginia Dare has established a broad partnership with one of Madagascar’s most experienced vanilla exporters, Soarary. In an agreement finalized in March 2013, the Soarary partnership will provide Virginia Dare with a fully integrated supply chain for securing, curing and exporting vanilla beans from Madagascar.
A globally recognized leader in vanilla extracts and flavors, Virginia Dare places tremendous importance on vanilla bean supply chain management. With so much of the world’s vanilla production coming from a single country, local operations in Madagascar will strengthen Virginia Dare’s ability to ensure the availability, quality and consistency of its vanilla extracts and flavors during periods of market instability and supply shortages. Virginia Dare President Howard Smith says, “Markets never stop evolving and the vanilla market is no exception. Recent changes in the Malagasy vanilla supply chain make the decision to become more locally active there the right one for our company and our customers.”
Its decision to establish a presence in the largest producing country in the world is both market driven and pragmatic according to company management. “Madagascar represents roughly 80 percent of world vanilla production today and is the international reference in terms of quality and market trends,” says Rick Brownell, Virginia Dare’s vice president of vanilla products. “Adopting a more vertically integrated approach to vanilla sourcing there allows us to respond to growing consumer demand for traceability and sustainability of foods and food ingredients.”