Natural, Organic & Sustainable Agriculture

Madagascar vanilla

Madagascar Spices farms, processes and exports vanilla, mainly of the type Vanilla planifolia, also known as Bourbon vanilla, or simply Madagascar vanilla.

Much of the world's natural vanilla is grown in the SAVA region in the northeast of Madagascar. While the vanilla plant originates from Mexico, the tropical climate of our region provides perfect conditions for cultivating the highest quality Bourbon vanilla with its soft and gentle flavour for which Madagascar's vanilla is world renowned.

The preparation procedure of our beans is done according to traditional methods which Malagasy farmers and highly skilled preparers have perfected for generations.

During August each year, the green beans are harvested and brought to our processing facility in Sambava, where the beans are scalded gently for three minutes at 60-70°C.

The beans are thereafter dried for about eight weeks in the sun and for approximately another three weeks in the shade. Finally, the beans are left to stabilise before being sorted, separating those which have splits or which have partly broken. The beans are graded by type, before being packaged and finally made available for export.

Our main three types of beans are derived from the same Bourbon Vanilla planifolia plant but with different preparation and intended uses:

Grade A Gourmet Bourbon Vanilla beans with approximately 35% moisture content. These beans are ideal for cooking, home baking, craft ice cream, selling as whole beans.

Grade B Extract Bourbon Vanilla beans with approximately 23% moisture content. Grade B beans are not less aromatic than Grade A, but better for making vanilla extract, vanilla sugars, flavouring chocolate bars, ice creams and drinks etc.

Grade C Bourbon Cuts with approximately 12% moisture content (short beans, splits) are suitable for vanilla powder (produced at our facility) as well as for non-food products, such as essential oils, aromatherapy products, body lotions, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, perfumes, air-fresheners etc.

We also cultivate Tahitian vanilla beans in Madagascar, which are generally shorter and plumper in appearance than Planifolia beans. The flavour of Tahitian vanilla cultivated in Madagascar differs from Tahitian vanilla typically cultivated in Tahiti or Papua New Guinea owing to the terroir specific to our area and country. Tahitian vanilla is a close relative of Planifolia since it is a genetic cross between the V. Planifolia and V. Odorata species.

And we offer Pompona, a Madagascar cultivated Mexican variety which are large and thick vanilla pods with a lower vanillin percentage. Our Pompona beans, which have a sweeter taste and fragrance than Planifolia, are used mainly to produce vanilla powder.

Additionally, we offer Tsy Taitry, a genetic cross between Pompona and Planifolia. The Malagasy name describes a strong resilience to invasive insect pests due to its genetic diversity. The appearance, flavour and fragrance are a clear mix of Planifolia and Pompona.

All our vanilla types are prepared, handled and packaged without artificial conservation methods or any type of additives. Our vanilla products have also been organically certified by ECOCERT, the leading organic certification organisation since 1991.

An independent laboratory analysis measuring vanillin and humidity levels of our vanilla can be found at

Tip: For new customers to be convinced of the quality of our vanilla before placing wholesale orders, samples of between 5-15 pods can be packaged into a tube and posted in a handcrafted Madagascar wooden gift box via regular airmail or DHL. Do not hesitate to contact us for a price of a sample to be sent to your location.

Madagascar Spices is a licensed vanilla exporter registered with the Malagasy Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Consumption (MICC).