Perma Vanilla

The Perma Vanilla organization through its projects, collaborations with Amazonian communities and partnering with other local organizations, aims to provide solutions to the problem of deforestation in the Amazon as well as to ensure a fair income for subsistence farmers.

Goals and objectives of the Perma Vanilla organization:

   •    Stabilize the production, processing and marketing of vanilla in reforestation and / or conservation projects.
   •    Development of an economic growth model for these regions that is sustainable in the long term to avoid falling back into environmentally destructive production methods (such as slash and burn combined with monoculture).
   •    Certify the production of sustainable and ecological vanilla "eco-fair trade".

The objective of implementing a sustainable certification program called "eco-fair trade" benefits the producer as well as the environment. Certification therefore has the dual objective of providing attractive and correct remuneration to communities of producers in exchange for which they undertake to produce vanilla while regenerating the region. This is made possible by the fact that vanilla does not grow in the sun, it requires trees for shade as well as living stakes to be able to grow and flourish ecologically. This will therefore be an opportunity for these consumers to indirectly encourage fair trade and the preservation of the Amazon rainforest.

Raising the standard of living above the average provides financial security to farming families enabling them to invest in their health and the opportunity to send their children to school, but above all to prevent the lack of money pushing small producers to clear more land to sow monocultures.

The organization will fund projects, such as the pilot "Project Perma Vanilla Alto Mayo" - centered on the concepts of agroforestry and soil regeneration - working towards stabilizing the local economy. A new form of economy that is essential for the restoration of the environment and the harmonious development of human populations.

As the organization is alarmed by the rampant deforestation in the Amazon, it seeks to find solutions so that local populations can live by producing and marketing products; all the while pursuing agricultural practices centered on the regeneration of land damaged by the monoculture of coffee, cocoa, rice, etc.

In large part, it is the people who live in these forests who clear the land. They often turn to deforestation as they are constrained by poverty and pressured by a global market hungry for cheap raw materials. The tropical forest is subsequently replaced by conventional crops in the form of monoculture; leading to the need for an astronomical quantity of chemicals and the disappearance of many species.

In some indigenous reserves, it is forbidden to sell the land. However, local people are encouraged by their own community and international companies to lease their land for a certain number of years. This practice is very destructive, because the majority of the leased land is first growth forests, therefore extremely rich in biodiversity. At the end of the lease, the natives recover their devastated land, not knowing what to do with it. Investors and farmers, for their part, move to a new plot to be cleared.

Vanilla pompona, endemic to the old-growth Amazon rainforest, is therefore threatened due to the disappearance of its ecosystem. Recent awareness of the high economic value of vanilla, protected forest reserves are illegally plundered by those in search of vanilla pods.

In addition, buyers of vanilla currently make little difference between vanilla from wild harvests and cultivated vanilla. There is another gray area looming over the cultivation of the Vanilla pompona species. Some of the producers are starting to build huge greenhouses in which to grow vanilla, encouraged by programs concerned with a quick and easy approach. This practice is potentially very destructive for the environment, as it is a new form of monoculture. It is also very costly to the producer to build and maintain.

It is time to stop this practice by giving inhabitants of the Amazon the opportunity to conserve their forest with projects, such as growing of vanilla. An inversion capable accompanying them in regenerating impoverished soils all the while financing families without going through the deforestation phase.