Responsibly Sourcing Vanilla

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Madagascar is a special place that Kellogg and others are working to protect. It’s estimated that 90% of the wildlife on the island nation off the southeast coast of Africa is unique to the country, leading some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent1." The country also has been classified a biodiversity hot spot2 by Conservation International.

Madagascar’s fertile soil and favorable climate make it ideal for growing 80% of the world’s vanilla crop, however It’s  the ninth poorest country in the world3 due to lack of infrastructure and environmental degradation. Ankavanana, a remote region in Northeast Madagascar, is at particular risk because it is prone to high soil erosion from slash and burn practices used to clear land for agricultural purposes. The area is also frequently hit by devastating cyclones. Although most of the year there is enough to eat in the region, rice is the main meal and most people’s diets are not varied, which can lead to malnutrition, particularly in children.

Kellogg and its vanilla supplier, Symrise, are supporting efforts to protect the land to help improve livelihoods of 1,000 Malagasy smallholder vanilla farmers and their families in the Ankavanana region. The project trains farmers to become more climate and financially resilient, as well as educate how to incorporate diverse crops on their land to increase access to more nutrients in the diet.

"Kellogg's commitment to invest together with Symrise, and to share their expertise on climate smart agriculture is very valuable to the smallholder vanilla farmers in this remote region of Madagascar,” said Hamish Taylor, Symrise Advisor on Sustainability.  “This public-private partnership is an excellent example of our shared commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG#17 "Partnerships for the Goals.


This work contributes to Kellogg’s commitment to responsibly source 100% of the vanilla in our foods by the end of 2020. While Kellogg sources a very small amount of vanilla in its foods globally, its great flavor is included in products such as Kellogg’s® Nutri-Grain bars, Eggo® Thick and Fluffy Waffles, as well as in some of our cereals and granolas.

Thanks to this three-year Kellogg’s Origins™ project with Symrise, we’ll achieve our goal of 100% responsibly sourced vanilla.

Through the program, Kellogg and Symrise are sponsoring Farmer Business Schools in each village to introduce farmers to financial literacy programs that can help increase their crop value and make the most of their vanilla income. We are also partnering with village school associations to ensure greater access to affordable education on agricultural skills that will help their families’ increase their incomes.



“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 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.”

This work contributes to our Kellogg’s® Better Days global commitment to create Better Days for 3 billion people, including supporting 1 million farmers, especially women, smallholders and workers by the end of 2030. Already, we have positively impacted more than 436,000 famers through 40+ Kellogg’s Origins™ sustainable agriculture projects worldwide.

Learn more about our work to responsibly source our priority ingredients here.

[1] Hillstrom & Collier Hillstrom (2003), p. 50
[2] Conservation International (2007). "Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands"Biodiversity Hotspots. Conservation International.