Symrise and Kellogg achieve goal of “100% responsibly sourced vanilla by 2020”

Partnership drives impact at the source of vanilla farming in Madagascar.

Kellogg and Symrise have engaged in a three-year project in Madagascar to responsibly source 100% of Kellogg’s vanilla by 2020. Based on a shared collective commitment, the project will engage with the vanilla farming communities of Ankavanana, Madagascar, enabling farmers and their families to work together towards common goals.

Yannick Leen, global competence director vanilla, Symrise, commented: “The programme drives impact directly at the source of vanilla farming via our integrated supply chain. The partnership highlights the value of our active and collaborative year-round presence in this region. In turn, it ensures the highest quality vanilla, brings certainty and creates shared value for farmers, as well as ensuring sustainability of supply.”

Last year, Kellogg joined the Symrise and Friends family of private sector partners. They work together to deliver synergistic benefits for the vanilla farming communities and the biodiverse environment in which they live. Kellogg brings its experience of climate smart agriculture to the project. The partnership has been scaling up for greater impact with the other programmes partners including Unilever, GIZ and Save the Children.

Amy Senter, chief sustainability officer for Kellogg, added: “Farmers like those in Madagascar aren’t just growing vanilla for people around the world, they’re cultivating healthy soils, diverse ecosystems and strong communities. And across Kellogg, we want to help them do even more.”

The Symrise approach is based on living close to and working closely with farmers every day of the year to foster good agricultural practices and budget flow management. This empowers farmers to run their farms in a sustainable way, and be more financially resilient in a volatile market.

The company’s holistic approach also includes training and education within the communities, and the introduction of alternative crops. This adds diversity and mitigates risk. Crops include patchouli, vetiver and ginger. The farmers also learn to apply climate smart agriculture practices to the cultivation of rice, the major subsistence crop for the Malagasy people.

The joint partnership between Kellogg and Symrise will provide ongoing engagement and training for over 1,000 Malagasy smallholder vanilla farmers. This will help to improve their livelihoods and protect the fragile environment.

“The partnership has further solidified our strong relationship with Kellogg, and helps to enhance the global profile of projects which are essential to the quality and sustainability of our agriculture and can also change attitudes across the world. We look forward to building on this and many other relationships as we help to create a more sustainable future,” Symrise’s Leen concluded.