In 2016 PROVA, one of the World’s premier manufacturer of vanilla extracts and flavors, and Barry Callebaut, the World’s leading producer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, partnered up to engage in a project on the ground and secure a sustainable vanilla supply. Now, in 2018, not only have we together secured the first 100% traceable vanilla from Madagascan farmers, we are also working to improve vanilla farmers’ livelihoods by diversifying their income with cocoa.

The project, which is also supported by IDH, is built around three pillars: project partners are providing vanilla farmers with trainings and knowledge to improve their vanilla quality and yield and encourage the curing of vanilla beans on-farm. Furthermore, we provide cocoa seedlings, trainings and tools to support farmers in diversifying their income. Lastly, the project includes a variety of social perks such as a library, school meals and support of health centers to improve the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.


The joint project between PROVA and Barry Callebaut has for goal to encourage farmer entrepreneurship, improve community livelihoods and secure a sustainable supply of vanilla by overcoming challenges linked to agriculture and the volatility of the market. Additionally, the project drives them into diversification to anticipate the potential price drop: farmers are taught how to grow and prepare cocoa. To date, hundreds of farmers have taken part in the program.

Intended outcomes/goals from project/intervention

  • Improvement of farmer and community livelihoods
  • Diversification of incomes
  • Secure a sustainable and 100% traceable supply of vanilla and cocoa
  • Empowering farmer entrepreneurship

Roles and benefits of collaboration

PROVA and Barry Callebaut have teamed up to reach these goals. PROVA being a vanilla specialist, has specific knowledge on the on-field vanilla situation in Madagascar, while Barry Callebaut being the world’s biggest chocolate manufacturer, brings knowledge on the cocoa side of the project.

Both parties also invest in education, nutrition and health initiatives, empowering a community of over 2 000 people, and benefit in having access to sustainable and traceable vanilla and cocoa.