The plant was discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors in the early 16th century, when they are received by the Aztecs people in Mexico. A hot flavored with drink vanilla and chocolate had been served them at the Aztec imperial court. Although the origin was kept in secret by the indigenous population, the Spaniards eventually discover: it is the vanilla.
Vanilla appeared in the Indian Ocean only four centuries later in Java, in Reunion and Mauritius. Plantations were attempted in these islands, but the results were disappointing, until a slave boy, aged 12, in a plantation in La Reunion, observing the vanilla flowers, had the great idea and the blessed hand to them fertilize manually. And the results have far exceeded expectations. This man called Edward said Albius. Unfortunately, this man as a freed slave could never benefit from his "invention" and died in poverty in 1880.
APG III Classification: Domain: Eukaryota • (unranked): • Archaeplastida Regnum: Plantae • Cladus: • Cladus angiosperms: monocots • Ordo: Asparagales • Familia: Orchidaceae • subfamily: Vanilloideae • Tribes: Vanilleae • Genus: Species • Vanilla: Vanilla planifolia Jacks. eg Andrews (1808)
It presents itself as a climbing vine, and needs a stake, to promote its development by the terminal bud. It requires a warm and humid tropical climate and grows in the shade.
The stem and leaves are "thick", and are waterlogged by a transparent irritating sap.
The vine breaks easily, but it is cutting as easily and facilitates the growth of the plant. At each node appear rootlets that enable the plant to cling to the stake. A vanilla plant can reach 15m long
The leaf is alternate, long, oval and pointed toe. It can be up to 15cm long
The flowers are grouped in spikes 8 to 10, and white to pale yellow. Trumpet-shaped, it must be pollinated manually, unlike what happens in Mexico, where there is a variety of bee that naturally contributes to fertilization.
Fruiting gives brushes of 8 to 10 pods from each group of flowers.
The plant was first introduced in Nosy Be (1880), Madagascar. But it is in Sambava and Antalaha that the plant is best suited, because of the warm and humid climate, favorable to its growth.
Propagation is by cuttings of the vine. It requires a deep and fertile soil, very rich in organic matter and well drained. It is a shade plant (75% of shade), which requires warm and humid atmosphere.
Choice and preparation of the Vanilla creeper
In practice, a new planting flowers after 3 years only.
The farmer must ensure that the vines are well supported by tutors, and monitors flowering. Each flower can give up to 300g of green pods. It takes 5 to 6 kg of green pods to produce 1kg of marketable pod. Vanilla requires at least 8 months of treatment and preparations between the green pod harvest and its commercialization
Farmer sells mature green pods or makes himself their treatment before commercialization.
Madagascar exports between 1000 T to 1500T vanilla pods per year. In bad years, however, this amount can go down to only 600T.
Trimeta AGRO FOOD works with producer groups for producing high quality vanilla, purchased, still green from farmers. It works with licensed collectors for the purchase of processed vanilla.
It carries itself, treatment and preparations of collected green vanilla. It checks the quality of vanilla beans in bulk, before purchasing and complete treatment.
Trimeta AGRO FOOD participates actively in improving the social and economic life of producer communities
Trimeta AGRO FOOD exports vanilla pod in the USA, Europe and Japan.
Vanilla from Trimeta AGRO FOOD is certified:
in FAIRTRADE by FLO-CERT GmbH - FLO ID 25486.
and ORGANIC (BIO) by ECOCERT as per NOP & CE 834/2007 regulations