News Project Vanilla Madagascar - August 2021

Auna di Sotto (BZ)Loacker – a South Tyrolean company leader in the international wafer market and specialized in chocolate specialties – is proud to present “Vaniglia dal Madagascar”; the project aims to guarantee the high quality of the valuable vanilla pods used to make their products while also guaranteeing all steps in the supply chain meet specific traceability, sustainability, and fairness standards.

The project is carried out with the Varesco Group, a company based in Bolzano, which will manage logistics and organization.

Vanilla is one of the fundamental ingredients used in Loacker products. The company exclusively uses Bourbon vanilla pods from Madagascar, a variety which stands out for its purity and excellence.

For Loacker, guaranteeing its products’ quality and goodness is a choice renewed every day by carefully selecting its suppliers and respecting the environment as well as by employing a sustainable, transparent, and responsible supply chain.

Based on these important elements, Loacker kicked off a vanilla-growing project in 2019 in the Sava region, located in northern Madagascar, the heart of the international production area of the valuable Bourbon variety. The company decided to work directly with small groups of local farms working across three of the region’s villages: Marofototra, Marofinatra and Andranalingoza. This allows Loacker to purchase the valuable vanilla and guarantee 100% traceability while also ensuring farmers receive fair payment without involving middlemen .

This ambitious project counted on the collaboration of a company established locally managed by two women –sisters, actually – who supported the company operations and the direct relation with farmers with their passion and dedication.

From the inception to the actual roll-out of the project, Loacker purchased approximately 100 kg of fermented vanilla for its products sold and loved all over the globe.

The “Vaniglia dal Madagascar” project allows the company to purchase the valuable raw material directly from local farmers, while also promoting and creating a number of initiatives to support and boost the three villages and their population’s development. Loacker also chose the land to plant further vanilla pods and, therefore, created new potential employment opportunities for the inhabitants; moreover, it also identified specific areas to create a vegetable garden, a water well and health facilities to support the community. These initiatives are just an extension of other, already existing green initiatives such as dredging rivers and waste collection activities which the company supports by means of monetary incentives.

The “Vaniglia dal Madagascar” project is part of a group of projects supported by the AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and represents another important piece in Loacker’s large-scale project to guarantee the traceability and quality of its raw materials. After the 2014 “Noccioleti Italiani” project, created by collaborating with the Intesa San Paolo bank, developed to guarantee a 100% Made in Italy hazelnut supply chain, and the 2019 opening of the first South Tyrolean plant for the supply of milk sourced exclusively from the Alps together with Brimi, Loacker reaches another objective with the creation of a controlled vanilla supply chain.

Wanda Hager, Board Member and Managing Director Agriculture & Procurement, says: “Quality, traceability, and natural raw materials are part of Loacker’s DNA. The family-run business has always paid attention to social, economic, and environmental aspects. We are proud to have started ad hoc projects over the last few years on strategic raw materials whose aim is to also contribute, where we can, to the development of local communities.”