Having worked together to support vanilla farmers since 2013, Unilever, Symrise and Deutsche Gesallschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), have now joined forces with Save the Children to help boost the livelihoods of vanilla farming communities in Madagascar’s Sava region.
The three-year initiative aims to address some of the social and economic issues that traps those working in the vanilla supply chain in a cycle of poverty. The partnership, part-financed through the German develoPPP.de program, will provide direct support to farmers and their families.
The program aims to reach 50,000 people in 10,000 households, delivering training for farmers, improved access to fair financial services and community education on health, hygiene and child protection practices.
The partners will also carry out research to discover how the vanilla industry affects children’s lives and use their findings to inform better market practices, helping Unilever to secure a more sustainable and reliable supply of natural vanilla.
Dhaval Buch, Chief Procurement Officer, Unilever, said, “We are delighted to see this program continue and to now have Save the Children on board. We have seen some strong results in the last three years of the programme, but there is more to be done. Strategic partnerships are critical to helping us meet our goal of positively impacting the lives of 5.5 million people, including smallholder farmers, by 2020. Working together, and using the strength and expertise of each partner, is essential if we are to achieve the level of transformative change that is necessary across the industry. We look forward to developing the programme further and extending its reach to the wider community and children.”