Why Vanilla Farmers Are Under Threat | Global 3000

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Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron. The best-quality plants come from Madagascar.70 percent of the population of the northeast coast of Madagascar live off the vanilla trade. But farming the precious pods is a labor-intensive and complicated business. Major food and cosmetics manufacturers now want to save money by instead processing a synthetic substitute flavor: vanillin, a waste product from the paper industry.

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