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Friend & Burrell works with farmers in PNG to supply beautiful vanilla beans (Tahitsensis & Planifolia)

Friend & Burrell works with vanilla growers in Papua New Guinea to produce vanilla beans justifying vanilla’s status as one of the world’s greatest spices. In the past few years, Simon Friend has worked closely with PNG growers and their graders to develop skills in curing and processing. While our growers have inter-generational experience of growing vanilla beans, they have less experience of consistent curing and processing vanilla ideal for culinary use. Our work has focussed on good pollination practices, picking beans at the right stage of maturity (after 9 months) and resisting the temptation to pick immature beans. Early picking can’t ever support a sustainable, long-term industry.

Vanilla production and trade have been inconsistent and volatile in recent years with Madagascan crops ruined by cyclones and the emergence of crime, black markets, poverty and political instability in growers’ communities. Our approach to vanilla production is that long-term reward can only come from a safe, solid, sustainable model, with fair payment for growers, resulting in a consistent, reliable supply of graded, quality vanilla. The merit of this approach is now apparent and we can offer you a consistent supply of vanilla.

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