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Vanilla prices reach record highs amid shortage

Staff Writer |
A global shortage of vanilla has sent prices sky high, and the cost of vanilla is now more than double previous record prices.

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The last peak was in 2003 when it reached $300 per kg, and it is now sitting about $700 per kg.

Vanilla is a tricky product to grow: the flowers only open once a year and have to be hand pollinated within four hours of opening.

Heilala Vanilla chief executive and co-founder Jennifer Boggiss said vanilla, as a commodity, went through cycles, and at the moment it had record high pricing and short supply.

"It's a combination I think of climatic conditions - Madagascar is the main producer of vanilla in the world, over 80 percent... and they had a cyclone.

"Even prior to the cyclone in March we were facing supply shortages. In Tonga where we grow our vanilla we've had a couple of light seasons, this last season we had really light yield."


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