Producer Profiles

Association Tsiry Andampin'ny Fosa

The Association Tsiry Andampin'ny Fosa was created in May 2008 by a small number of vanilla producers who met in the school building of the village Andampin’ny Fosa. They formed the association with the goal to produce and market top quality vanilla by combining forces and pooling capacities and competences of the vanilla growers in the region. Other objectives of the organization were to educate members in sustainable business practices, improve members’ livelihoods, support the community and protect the environment.

Andampin’ny Fosa is part of the rural commune Anjangoveratra in the Sambava district located in northern Madagascar. The community has approximately 16,000 inhabitants of which about 98.5 percent lives off an income earned through agriculture. The most important crop in the region is vanilla, followed by rice and pineapple. Income generated through vanilla has allowed some limited development of the region. Since 2005, the “vanilla road” has linked the Sambava district to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

Tsiry members face many obstacles and difficulties. The vanilla growers live in remote locations, making communication amongst each other as well as with potential buyers very difficult. And of course the vanilla growers of Andampin’ny Fosa face the same difficulties as all other vanilla growers in Madagascar: current vanilla prices that don’t cover costs of production. Before dropping to a historic low in 2010, global vanilla prices have fluctuated widely throughout the past decade. In the aftermath of the 2000 Madagascar hurricane that destroyed vast acres of the crop, vanilla prices soared. As a result, most manufacturers changed product formulations to include synthetic vanilla which costs a fraction of natural vanilla. Due to this initial supply shortage early in the decade and the resultant high vanilla prices, vanilla production has increased in nontraditional countries such as Indonesia and China, leading to a more competitive market and more recently, a decline in price due to additional supplies.

Working to revive their struggling vanilla production, the members of Tsiry joined together with the support of their community to seek Fair Trade certification, which has enabled the association to provide benefits to their active members, each of whom owns an average of about 2.4 hectares of land. Committed buyer and exporter Les Etablissements Ranjanoro also played a vital role in Tsiry's development, giving new life to the association’s total production area.
 

Quotable

The financial assistance Fair Trade has provided to member farmers has enabled growers to extend the size of their vanilla fields, make needed improvements in vanilla processing equipment, invest into the cultivation of rice, in the construction of homes, and more importantly to keep their children in school. Because of the Fair Trade premium we receive, there is not one child of a Tsiry member that is forced to drop out of school due to their parents' inability to pay school fees.  

Rabevazaha Heriniaina, Cooperative Manager

Programs

New Production and Storage Facility

With Fair Trade premiums, Tsiry Association members were able to improve the quality of their vanilla production. The association invested in building a storage facility for the processing and storage of vanilla.

Improving Product Quality

The Tsiry Association invested their Fair Trade premium in improving the quality of their product. Specifically, they purchased blankets to wrap the vanilla during the maturation process, as better protection during this curing phase leads to higher quality vanilla, and thus a higher market value.