In conjunction with Madagascar-based Soarary, Virginia Dare, announced a new dual-objective strategy to improve the sustainability of Madagascar’s vanilla market.

The first objective of the strategy is to enable farmers to properly cure their own raw vanilla in order to earn extra revenue from this value-added activity, the company says. To make this possible, Virginia Dare and Soarary have gifted materials and provided the training necessary for proper curing to a group of roughly 150 growers.

Secondly, the partners want to improve food security for Madagascar’s vanilla growing community. The plan will guarantee participating farmers access to affordable rice for food during the annual shortage period, the companies note. In turn, this access will help increase growers’ vanilla income by curtailing the practice of paying for otherwise unaffordable rice by pledging future vanilla production at prices below fair market value.

Virginia Dare, 882 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11232; 718/788-1776;