Taste, Nutrition & Health | Corporate | Sustainability

— Partnership drives impact at the source of vanilla farming in Madagascar
— “Symrise and Friends” partnerships support the next generation of vanilla farmers
— 365 days a year presence to ensure quality, certainty and safeguard the social and natural environments

Kellogg Company and Symrise have engaged in a joint and ambitious three-year project in Madagascar to responsibly source 100 % of Kellogg’s vanilla by 2020. The project enjoys continued success based on a shared collective commitment. Strong engagement with the vanilla farming communities of Ankavanana, Madagascar, enables farmers and their families to work together towards common goals.

“The program drives impact directly at the source of vanilla farming via our integrated supply chain,” said Yannick Leen, Global Competence Director Vanilla, Symrise. “The partnership highlights the value of our active and collaborative year round presence in this unique region. In turn, it ensures the highest quality vanilla, brings certainty and creates shared value for farmers, as well as ensuring sustainability of supply.”

In 2019, Kellogg joined the growing "Symrise and Friends" family of private sector partners. They work together to deliver synergistic benefits for the vanilla farming communities and the biodiverse environment in which they live. Kellogg brings extensive experience of Climate Smart Agriculture to the project. The partnership is scaling up for greater impact with the other program partners including Unilever, GIZ and Save the Children.

‘“Responsibly sourcing our ingredients means making a difference from the very start. That’s why we’re working closely with the farmers who grow them,” said Kellogg Company Chief Sustainability Officer Amy Senter. “Farmers like those in Madagascar aren’t just growing vanilla for people around the world, they’re cultivating healthy soils, diverse ecosystems and strong communities. And across Kellogg, we want to help them do even more.”

The true value of being “closest to the source”

The fully integrated Symrise approach is based on living close to and working closely with farmers every day of the year to foster good agricultural practices and budget/cash flow management. This empowers farmers to run their farms in a sustainable way and be more financially resilient in a volatile market.

The company’s holistic approach also includes training and education within the communities and the introduction of alternative crops. This adds diversity and mitigates risk. Crops include patchouli, vetiver and ginger. The farmers also learn to apply Climate Smart Agriculture practices to the cultivation of rice, the major subsistence crop for the Malagasy people.

The joint partnership between Kellogg and Symrise provides ongoing engagement and training for over 1,000 Malagasy smallholder vanilla farmers. This helps to improve their livelihoods and protect the fragile environment that they and their families call home.

A global approach to local partnerships

Symrise in Europe and Madagascar worked with Kellogg’s teams in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA and Sydney, Australia, with financial support from the Bridging the Gap, SDG Compact with GIZ with match-funding provided by BMZ.

‘’This partnership has further solidified our strong relationship with Kellogg and helps to enhance the global profile of projects which are essential to the quality and sustainability of our agriculture and can also change attitudes across the world.’ says Yannick Leen. ‘We look forward to building on this and many other relationships as we help to create a more sustainable future.’