Vanilla shortage in Tonga boosts prices


TONGA: The last peak was in 2003 when it reached $300 per kg, and it is now sitting about $700 per kg.
Vanilla is a tricky product to grow. The flowers only open once a year and have to be hand-pollinated within four hours of opening.
Heilala Vanilla chief executive and co-founder Jennifer Boggiss said vanilla, as a commodity, went through cycles, and at the moment it had record high pricing and short supply.
“It’s a combination of climatic conditions – Madagascar is the main producer of vanilla in the world, over 80 per cent and they had a cyclone. Even prior to the cyclone in March we were facing supply shortages. In Tonga we’ve had a couple of light seasons, this last season we had light yield,” Boggiss said. – Agencies

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