Village of Betavilona location of the LAVANY Bourbon plantation in Madagascar


Flower, button, young green pods of LAVANY Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar

Blooming flower, buds and young vanilla pods

Among the 30,000 varieties of orchids, Vanilla is the only one that bears fruit. The pods of the Vanilla Planifolia Andrews species are used after ripening for their natural aromatic qualities of extreme finesse so perfectly sweet, in pastry, chocolate, confectionery, cooking and perfumery. It is the most widespread and used aroma.

Vanilla is the sweetest and most refined of spices, while having a powerful aroma. It goes wonderfully with sweet dishes and today's Grands Chefs associate it happily with savory dishes.

Native to Mexico, the vanilla tree is a climbing vine that can reach five meters. Its light yellow flowers are hermaphroditic.

The Vanilla plant begins to produce flowers from the fourth year of planting.

Its acclimatization outside Central America was most difficult, the Mexican insects essential to its fertilization not having been invited to participate in the trip, until a Reunionese, Edmond Albius, rediscovered by chance in 1841.

" During the French colonization in Madagascar, due to the availability of land suitable for this plant, the SAVA region was chosen as the location for the production of Vanilla on a very large scale in the Indian Ocean.

Our great-grandfather Edouard RAJERA was one of the first peasants to volunteer for this new agricultural adventure.
He chose virgin lands and he created the village of Betavilona "

The artificial pollination of the flowers of this liana is carried out in three stages:

  • the lip is lowered and torn using a stylus (an orange thorn) to release the gynostema.
  • the rostellum is raised and placed under the stamen
  • finger pressure is exerted to bring the pollen mass in contact with the stigma

Vanilla flowers bloom overnight and are only fruitful for one day. From September to January, the flowers are pollinated during the morning dew.

Manual pollination of LAVANY Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar

Manual pollination of a blooming Vanilla flower

Liane de Vanille 

Vanilla vine in our plantations in Betavilona

Anicet the Vanilla Planter LAVANY Bourbon from Madagascar in Betavilona

Anicet JERA, the planting manager in Betavilona

Planter card and seal E-JSH Anicet JERA des Vanilles LAVANY Bourbon de madagascar à Betavilonas

E-JSH Planter Card and Seal

Green pods with the clear markings of the Planteur des Vanilles LAVANY seal Bourbon from Madagascar in Betavilona

Traces of the Planter's seal on green Vanilla pods

The cultivation of Vanilla Organic Bourbon pod conveys a particularly strong image of Madagascar:
the association of nature and tradition.

In respect of nature and its protection, the recommended cultivation methods encourage farmers to use free land which is not usually reserved to food crops. As a result, we see the ban on burning before cultivation and a systematic replanting of trees, gliricidia or coffee trees, thanks to the installation of stakes, supports of the Vanilla vines.

A complementary innovation is brought by the on-site production of plant materials intended for the production of composts which naturally nourish the Vanilla plants. So no fertilizer, no chemical weedkiller is necessary for the good development of the plant. The soil amendment is of exclusively biological origin.

All of these simple, rigorous and totally natural agricultural techniques contribute to perfect protection of the environment and also participates in the reforestation of the Madagascan rainforest.

Our crops are grown using traditional, non-mechanized methods at an altitude of 300 meters. It is a very isolated wooded mountainous area, beyond the reach of urban, industrial and agricultural pollution.

Our Vanilla lianas grow on the trunks of our coffee trees which offer them, in addition to the support essential for their development, a light shade as well as a protection against fungal attack due to rains.

Per inflorescence 8-10 pods are only kept. A vanilla vine can carry several clusters and produce 3 to 4 kilos of green pods.

Within two months of fertilization, the small pods unwelcome or damaged by insects, are removed to promote the development of the most beautiful.

Also each of our plants produces only 100 to 120 pods of 12 to 20 centimeters on average, containing thousands of very small fragrant seeds containing Vanillin.

Traditionally we mark our green Vanilla pods with our Planter seal: E-JSH to guarantee the origin of the product and thus allow its traceability . These are the light spots visible on some ripened pods.

The volume of production is very irregular from one year to the next, because this much appreciated spice is sensitive to climatic variations and bad weather such as cyclones unfortunately frequent in this region. Indian Ocean region.

All plantations managed by the RANJA Family have been certified for three years AB - Organic Farming by logo ECOCERT Certification of LAVANY Bourbon Vanilles in Madagascar


The harvest takes place after nine to eleven months of maturation of the Vanilla pods on the vine. The whole fruit is shiny green with a light yellow head. Very fine streaks appear and the two lines of dehiscence are accentuated. It is at this precise stage that we are harvesting. By operating earlier or later, you get defective fruit.

The ripe picked green pods are immediately transported first on the back of a man through the mountain then by canoe on the Ankavana River, the only link with the coast, to our refining station located in Manambato - Antalaha on the edge of the Indian Ocean. The trade winds blow over this region throughout the year creating a mild climate very favorable to the processing of Vanilla. The average temperature is 26 ° C.

A first sorting makes it possible to separate the long pods from the short ones and from the split ones with a view to different treatments according to their respective maturity.

" Companies like ours, 100% family-run, can only exist by offering pods of extreme quality and rigorously selected.

From now on the Malagasy government, associated with professionals in the Vanilla sector, decides for each region the authorized start date of harvest in order to guarantee the maturity of the pods and also the unique quality of the Vanilla LAVANY. "

Transport of green pods in the mountains on the back of a man and on the river Ankavana by canoe

Land transport on man's back of green Vanilla pods + Transport by pirogue on the Ankavana river

Lucia in front of the green vanilla pods LAVANY coming directly from Betavilona

Sorting of the green pods of freshly harvested Vanilla before scalding

LAVANY Bourbon logo from Madagascar

All the facilities managed by the RANJA Family in Madagascar and by Vanille LAVANY in France are certified for three years AB - Organic Agriculture by logo ECOCERT Certification of LAVANY Bourbon Vanilles in Madagascar