We Do Things Differently
Under conventional vanilla and spice trade models, small-scale farmers often depend on a series of middlemen in bringing their products to market, resulting in low incomes and struggles to meet basic needs.
Farmers face the challenges of accessing reliable market information and of acquiring improved skills related to production and trade.
At LAFAZA, we think of the spice trade in Madagascar a little differently.
We've partnered directly with small farmers via their cooperatives since 2005 to produce and export some of Madagascar's highest-quality natural vanilla.
Our unique direct-trade model allows us to pay farmers a premium price for exceptional vanilla beans, and still provide great value.
Directly Different: The LAFAZA Trade Model
The farmers who grow LAFAZA vanilla use sustainable farming practices that help protect the unique rainforest biodiversity in and around the Mananara-Nord region, on the north-east coast of Madagascar.
Rather than growing vanilla in large, mono-cropped plantations, LAFAZA vanilla comes from independent, small-holder farmers whose dense agroforestry systems act much more like a healthy forest, and less like an industrial farm.
This approach yields vanilla products with a deeply rich flavor and has a very real positive impact on both the forests and the farming communities that depend on them. We like to call this win-win "Flavor With An Impact!"
Creating Sustainable Economic Growth
We are proud to pay our farmers a premium price, invest in their cooperatives, and help build libraries and community centers in the rural forest communities where LAFAZA vanilla is grown.
We believe that these communities deserve long-term commitments from partnerships offering direct market access to consumers of gourmet ingredients around the world.
Our community-based trade model significantly improves upon conventional market relationships.
Working directly with farmer-led organizations, we draw from our expertise and local partners in Madagascar to forge respectful, transparent, and effective relationships with cooperatives to:
• Offer producers more consistent and higher-paying markets for vanilla and other spices.
• Build trusting, empowering relationships in the communities where we work.
• Provide training and skilled employment opportunities, especially for women, who are instrumental in curing high-quality vanilla beans.
• Invest in social development projects including community libraries and resource centers.
• Foster farmer-to-farmer linkages across Madagascar, creating a space for farmers to come together to share their knowledge, questions, and expertise.