Industry & Business

Symrise Opens Production Site in Madagascar

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Symrise Opens Production Site in Madagascar

Symrise Opens Production Site in Madagascar
October 16
09:41 2014

Symrise has opened an extraction facility for vanilla and is taking another important step in sustainable vanilla production in Madagascar. The investment at the Benavony site amounted to approximately €3 million. With the plant, every step in the processing of vanilla can now be performed locally on the East African island for the first time.

Symrise is one of the most important suppliers of vanilla flavours in the world. The company has been active in Madagascar, where 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown, since 2005. Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise, explains: “This site is a further milestone in Symrise’s strategy of establishing the entire value chain for vanilla in its source country and in accordance with strict sustainability criteria.”

The 3,500 sq m facility offers production space for extraction, analysis, quality control and the proper storage of vanilla extracts. The site, which has been completely newly constructed, has a total of 36 ha of space. In the medium term, Symrise plans to process additional important raw materials here such as vetiver, an important and popular fragrance for producing perfumes.

All steps in processing, from fermentation up through extraction of vanilla, now take place in Madagascar. Dr Bertram adds: “With this new plant, we are completing the cycle of responsible vanilla production on site. Our vanilla activities in Madagascar are the best evidence that business success and sustainability go hand in hand. Our investment of roughly 3 million euros is a clear statement that we are directly committed long-term to the country, its people and vanilla farming.”

Symrise works directly with vanilla farmers in northeastern Madagascar in order to ensure the sourcing of natural vanilla as well as guarantee its high quality and seamless traceability. This model of vanilla production is one of the most successful and far-reaching sustainability projects in the entire vanilla industry: More than 30,000 people benefit directly and indirectly in terms of income, health, education and training. In addition, Symrise reinvests 10% of its yields from vanilla operations into Madagascar in the form of education and training, reforestation and the sustainable cultivation of various agricultural raw materials on the island.

Symrise currently processes about 200 tons of vanilla locally each year, which represents roughly 10% of the annual harvest in Madagascar. Symrise also opened a new fermentation and storage complex in the Madagascan city of Antalaha in February 2014.

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