Rainforest Vanilla Conservation Association



Rainforest in Papua New Guinea 

Rainforest, Vanilla and Cocoa Decline

The tropical rainforest, one of earth’s biological treasures, is disappearing at an alarming rate.  Production of vanilla and cocoa that grow best in the tropical rainforest is also decreasing.  Small producers are abandoning vanilla and cocoa and planting slash-burn subsistence crops just to feed themselves and their families.


Production of vanilla outside of the rainforest is proving unsustainable.  Mexico, once the leading producer of natural vanilla with an annual 500 tons of cured beans, produced only 10 tons of vanilla in 2006.  Vanilla production is now mostly carried out in the few remnants of tropical rainforest still remaining in the country.  Vanilla cultivation in Mexico is now becoming an activity of women, children and old people.

Global Warming and Artificial Vanillin

As deforestation continues, extreme weather, such as tropical cyclones and hurricanes are becoming more frequent.  In 2002, two tropical typhoons in Madagascar wiped out nearly half the world’s vanilla production and prices skyrocketed.  This price instability has forced food processors to increasingly switch to artificial vanillin to the point where now, an estimated 95% of “vanilla” products actually contain artificial vanillin.  Vanillin is synthesized from lignin, a by-product of paper manufacturing that used to be dumped into rivers.  In 2006 a Japanese scientist synthesized vanillin from cow manure thus adding a whole new meaning to the term “organic vanilla.” 


A Marriage Made in Heaven

The Rainforest Vanilla Conservation Association has developed a Vanilla-Cocoa Production System © for the tropical rainforest.  By planting vanilla vines on cocoa trees all under the protective shade of native tree species a small farmer receives a direct economic incentive for preserving the tropical rainforest.


Carbon Sequestration and Global Warming

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.  A one-acre vanilla-cocoa plantation is estimated to annually absorb (sequester) the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions from burning 2,550 gallons of gasoline.  Or for every one gallon of real vanilla or chocolate icecream you consume, you are removing from the atmosphere the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions from burning approximately one gallon of gasoline.


Save Our Planet with Vanilla and Cocoa

Help save our planet by consuming products with real vanilla and cocoa.  Products that display the Rainforest Vanilla TM hummingbird and vanilla flower contain real vanilla produced by farmers who are protecting the tropical rainforest.  Contributions to the Rainforest Vanilla Conservation Association are used to help farmers worldwide plant vanilla and cocoa, and for carbon sequestration payments to farmers to conserve the tropical rainforest.  For more information on how you can help save the tropical rainforest visit www.vanillaexchange.com.


Vanilla-Cocoa Production System ©



“Save the Tropical Rainforest with Vanilla and Cocoa.”