The Vanilla Company was initially launched in 2001 as a socially-conscious educational site and retail/wholesale business focused on pure vanilla and the promotion of those who grow it worldwide.
In 2005 we created the International Tropical Farmers Network (ITFN) and set up a Google Group so that farmers worldwide could communicate with one another and share assistance regarding issues concerning vanilla. However, most tropical farmers grow more than one crop, simultaneously if they have enough land, or by tearing up a crop that is not selling well and replacing it with another. Regardless of what they grow, the issues and struggles of farming in the developing world are the same. While farming can be difficult everywhere, there are few regulations or protections for farmers in developing countries and the wages are extremely low.
Women produce up to 80% of the crops in developing countries but receive a very small portion of the money that comes from the sale of the crops. We believe that it is crucial that farmers receive fair wages and that women farmers have greater autonomy and more access to wages to support themselves and their families.
In 2009, in honor of tropical farmers, we expanded the scope of our site by including detailed information about the communities, the commodities, the economies and the environment of the regions that fall 23-1/2 degrees north and south of the equator. We believe that those who grow the many delicious and valuable foods, flavors and ingredients we use daily deserve greater acknowledgement and support. We also are concerned about the health and welfare of our entire planet. By drawing greater awareness to the tropical regions of the world, our hope is that you will understand the importance of making wise choices when purchasing tropical products and to support programs making a difference for the families that live there.
Meet the Vanilla Queen
To learn about the Vanilla Queen, see “Patricia Rain’s Biographical Sketch” and “How I Became the Vanilla Queen.” Please also enjoy a video interview with Patricia. Part I is below. For the remaining videos, please click here.
Learn more about the Vanilla Queen. View videos, parts 2, 3, & 4 here
The Vanilla Company is based in Santa Cruz, California and sells wholesale bulk vanilla online. The Vanilla Queen is available as a consultant and for speaking engagements, educational and food events and culinary classes. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.