A Primer on Vanilla Cultivation, Wholesale Market Factors and The Good News

Much like wine, vanillas vary greatly. Differing terrain, elevation, latitude from the Equator, rainfall, duration of the dry season, types of shade canopies, organic matter, climate (seasonal variances and potential catastrophic storms) and the care and stewardship by the farmer all play a part in the quality of the vanilla.

The farmer must balance picking too early (often to avoid theft), versus risking loss by allowing the vanilla to fully ripen. Even if everything reaches perfection growing-wise, in the next step of the overall process—curing—all can be lost if it is not done properly.

There are different curing methods, but one thing is certain: no shortcuts work. A good curer can take fully ripened vanilla beans and bring forth the full and complex flavor characteristics that are so desirable. Conversely, even the finest curer cannot make great vanilla out of poor quality or immature green vanilla beans. And, consider this, it takes roughly 5-6 pounds of green vanilla beans to equal just one pound of cured vanilla.

You can see why there are so few truly great vanillas out there and why demand is outstripping supply.

Add to that the factors that regularly destabilize the vanilla market such as political turmoil in many third world growing regions, as well as unprecedented storms, and one can see that the likelihood of partial or complete crop loss is a real possibility.

Add to that the factors that regularly destabilize the vanilla market such as political turmoil in many third world growing regions, as well as unprecedented storms (five Category 5 storms since 2015!), and one can see that the likelihood of partial or complete crop loss is a real possibility.

When you consider these supply/demand fluctuations and challenges, extremes in pricing ensue. This is what we are experiencing now.

The Silver Lining

Thankfully, there is an alternative.

Jones & Company can help you source Organic and Conventional Vanillas, Flavors and Powders. We also source and carry many high-quality Natural Vanillas, some of which use natural vanillin in conjunction with pure vanilla extract and “with other natural flavors” (WONF). A complete line of natural flavors is also available in liquid or powder form.

Our inventory at our Northern California headquarters is extensive. Should you decide to do business with us, we have the ability to stock your favorite items and ship them to you, via your preferred freight carrier, within 24-48 hours.

Let us be your offsite vanilla and flavor purchasing department and storage facility; sourcing and shipping to you the finest unique vanillas and flavors from around the world.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email us directly for further details.

For wholesale inquiries please contact:

Ted Jones

ted@ted-jones.com

916.209.3302 office | voicemail