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Vanilla 2023

Our 13th Bi-Annual Symposium on Vanilla & Vanillin

Karnataka, India

Nov 7-9, 2023


Vanilla 2023 will be held the week of November 7th - 9th, 2023, in Pollibetta, India, in Karnataka, at the Bamboo Club. The meeting will consist of two days symposium and one day trip to a local vanilla plantation.

This meeting will focus on the future of vanilla and vanillin. It comes on the heels of an open forum for planters and farmers held last October and will deal with the challenges farmers in India face in producing vanilla. We hope to use this conference as a launching pad for a "vanilla comeback" in India; the country is an ideal place to produce the crop because of its climate, topography, and long-standing tradition of agricultural practices. In addition, we will be focusing on the future of vanilla and vanillin in the broader region; as this is our first conference in the area, we plan on including growers from neighboring countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, and others. We believe it was the right time to hold a conference in Asia. It is our obligation to support farmers and growers in this part of the world as they produce a large portion of the world's vanilla. 
There is an ongoing crisis in the supply of cured vanilla beans. At the height of the crisis, the price of cured beans made vanilla a luxury almost no one could afford. To make matters worse, there is a decrease in the quality of cured beans presently on the market because of inappropriate curing practices. End users seek to resolve this problem by formulating new flavors containing vanillin from natural sources and other natural ingredients. However, the industry wants to continue using properly cured and reasonably priced vanilla beans. Since the last meeting in 2021 in Florida, the price of vanilla decreased almost seven-fold. In addition, Madagascar's government put a minimum price on vanilla, which has yet to help the supply chain. 

Vanilla 2023 will focus on improving overall vanilla supply, including disease control, producing higher yield, and better curing. Rapid technological advancements over the last few years can support these improvements and initiatives. 
One of the major issues today in vanilla is disease, including fusarium (fungi) and viruses, which are distributed mainly by people. This subject will be front and center at the conference. Although the price has dropped, companies are still hesitant to return to using real vanilla. This old problem is known as Natural Vanilla Flavor WONF, which is more than a grey regulatory area. Most of these products contain 5-10% natural vanilla, preventing the return of natural vanilla.

It is not just small companies; major food conglomerates are also part of the problem. Despite lawsuits and discussions over the last few years, more and more companies opt to use it because it is stable and cheap, and taste is a matter of preference. Therefore, we must ask how we can increase the use of natural vanilla. Price and stability are key elements here, and getting India back into the world arena of growth will alleviate this problem. Information regarding registration, travel, hotels, and other accommodations will be posted soon. We look forward to seeing you in India in November!  Save the date!

This meeting will be dedicated to the late Dr. Chaim Frenkel who contributed greatly to the Vanilla community, helped organize our past events and was a regular speaker at our meetings.  He is greatly missed and we are proud to honor him at this conference. 

Below is a video of one of our recent Vanilla conferences in Moshi, Tanzania!

For more information, contact Daphna at

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