Vanilla Bean Volatility Could Drive Up Prices

While supply constraints are not expected to last long, growers warn of a potential cost problem.

The majority of the world’s vanilla supply comes from Madagascar, where Cyclone Gamane flooded fields and stripped vanilla pods from their vines, causing concern for an impending shortage. 

The sweet flavoring that comes from the fruit of the orchid is also grown in other tropical regions including Indonesia, Mexico, Uganda and Tahiti. It ranks as the second most expensive spice, behind only saffron, because of its labor-intensive growing process, which involves pollinating and harvesting it by hand, followed by a several month long curing process. 

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