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Achieving the Rainforest Alliance Certification requires compliance with numerous standards
July 4, 2020

In celebration of the International Day of Cooperatives, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to announce that a total of 1,791 vanilla farmers from five cooperatives were awarded the Rainforest Alliance certification.  This achievement was earned through the hard work of the farming cooperatives and with the support of USAID’s Mikajy project.   The Rainforest Alliance provides an internationally recognized and respected certification for food producers that meet demanding sustainability standards.

June 15, 2020

Vanilla is one of the world’s most familiar and popular flavors. Few people know that the primary source for their vanilla-infused delectable treats is Madagascar. Specifically rugged, remote, rural communities in the northern and north eastern parts of the country. Approximately 75 percent of the world’s vanilla is grown by farmers in Madagascar’s rainforests. The global market price for vanilla has fluctuated dramatically in the past few years (from $50 up to a high of $600 a kilogram).  As the price of vanilla soars, so too does the pressure to clear forests to grow more vanilla. This has resulted in extensive forest fragmentation in and around some Madagascar protected areas, many of which are home to endangered species found nowhere else on earth. 

June 15, 2020

The dry forests of the Menabe region in western Madagascar are world-renowned for the diversity of their plant and animal species, including many found nowhere else on earth. In recent years these forests have faced some devastating threats.

The SVPN alliance will increase production of high quality, sustainably produced vanilla
April 29, 2020

Sustainable Vanilla for People and Nature (SVPN), a three-year, $3 million activity co-financed by USAID and McCormick, is part of USAID’s Conservation and Communities Project (CCP). The SVPN Activity is designed to conserve biodiversity, avoid deforestation, and improve farmers’ livelihoods through sustainable vanilla production in the Sava and Analanjirofo regions of Madagascar. Through its Purpose-Led Performance initiatives, McCormick has committed to sustainably sourcing its herbs and spices, beginning with 100% of its branded iconic ingredients, including vanilla, and to increasing the resilience of 90% of the farmers who grow their iconic raw materials by 2025.

April 24, 2020

Malaria is one of the leading causes of mortality among children under five in Madagascar. Atsimo Andrefana is one of Madagascar’s regions most severely impacted by endemic malaria. More than half of the population in this region lives more than five kilometers from the nearest health facility, putting Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) on the front lines in the fight against malaria.