The Amazon Vanilla Project operates in the San Martín district of northern Peru, providing education and support for local farmers to grow vanilla as a cash crop. The project is sponsored by Sekut Vanilla Co. which provides curing and marketing services to local farmers. Vanilla, like cacao, can be grown in a forest setting with little change to the forest itself, providing a family income while preserving the natural diversity of the Amazonian rainforest.
Vanilla is grown under the forest canopy, using small trees or trellises built from available materials in the forest. Since vanilla is an epiphyte, its cultivation does not require fertilizers or other chemicals. They are naturally pest-resistant growing in a diversified setting in their home environment.
The particular species of vanilla they grow is vanilla pompona, a kind of vanilla that has been known in the fragrance trade for a long time, but is not well known as an ingredient in cuisine. It is increasingly of interest, however, and the market for pompona vanilla is growing rapidly. It went from being a niche item you might be able to acquire if you were in the trade, to the present, where there are several online outlets offering these exotic pods.
The pompona pods we offer for sale here are all sourced from the Amazon Vanilla Project and so your purchase directly supports indigenous vanilla farmers in Peru.