We have all benefited from cheap vanilla prices, but the vanilla certainly has not. Vanilla is the most labor-intensive spice after saffron, and when the price goes under $35/kg the repercussion is felt directly at grower level. For us to be able to compete in this market we have to buy green vanilla.

Francois Bernard
(CEO Tripper Inc)
We have all benefited from cheap vanilla prices, but the vanilla certainly has not. Vanilla is the most labor-intensive spice after saffron, and when the price goes under $35/kg the repercussion is felt directly at grower level. For us to be able to compete in this market we have to buy green vanilla. Vanilla vines take 4 years to be productive and the upkeep of the fields is backbreaking, flowering only happens once a year and the window to hand pollinate each flower is only a few hours. The curing of vanilla is an art that requires years to perfect and requires 2 months of constant attention, you need
total collaboration with nature during this period (vanilla needs sun drying to start developing its flavor and lack of sun can be disastrous). Storing of the vanilla is also a big challenge; some qualities are stable at 35% moisture and other can dry all the way to 12%. Carrying this inventory is a skill that, if not mastered can result in huge losses. Then when you have done all that, you are just half way there. To get into play, you have to find a buyer wanting that flavor profile, origin and type.

I think that to be successful in this business you need to be passionate about it. At Tripper we process various spices, but vanilla is what got us started and is still the only spice that gets me out of my seat and running to the warehouse when we receive a new shipments. In times when the vanilla prices are really low , we can push other products, but farmers and supplier are often mono crops. When you compare all the work that is needed to get vanilla ready for harvest, and farmer can only sell it for $1.50/Kg once a year, it’s hard not to rip those vines out and start ginger, today over $2.50/Kg with harvest twice per year and if prices aren’t good at time of harvest you can always store it and improve the quality (not like green vanilla… you have 4 days max). It’s hard to resist when your neighbor is working less and making more.

The key with vanilla is to satisfy the farmers and the worst is yet to come and with such low prices the farmers have over pollinated vines making them weak, stopped tending to their fields, and left them overgrown and prone to disease… and here comes the Fusarium (this disease has been prevalent in all growing regions for more than 10 years, destroying entire growing areas).

Now that we are at the bottom of the curve the sensible thing to do would be to establish a floor price. This would make it interesting for the farmers to get back into the game. We should take long term commitment to growing areas and make sure that the price goes where it is most valued: to the farmers. Madagascar’s attempt to do exactly this last year was (as always) for the wrong reason, they established a minimum floor price of $27/Kg export price. However, they didn’t bother to enforce the most important price: the one to the farmers who are currently paid under $10/Kg. So in 2010, the ones that are going to make the most profit are going to be ones bringing in the least value in the trade, but that’s nothing new. In 2011 we will come to realize that there is very little vanilla left in the world and we are going to go back to crazy prices. This pushes new opportunistic players in a market needing savoir-faire every step of the way, therefore resulting in poor quality vanilla at premium prices.

It’s hard for me to admit, but the old school vanilla trade with prices established a year in advance over a coffee at the Bedford Hotel in Paris might have been the best time for vanilla.
The aroma of vanilla is known as calming, relaxing and sensual - making vanilla an aphrodisiac.
Tummy-ache? Vanilla can be used as a stomach sedative, and can help calm agonizing upset stomachs.
Vanilla is an antacid and heat neutralizer, it can reduce the acidity, spiciness and add sweetness to citrus items, or hot foods!
Spiders don't like vanilla. Use whole vanilla beans to keep them away and at bay!
Stressed-out? Vanilla has long been praised for its usefulness in aromatherapy in calming even the most strained nerves. It has even been used to calm patients before MRI and CAT scans!
Another benefit of its powerful scent, vanilla can be used to mask other unpleasant, or strong odors.
Many other plants contain the characteristic chemical vanillin, like, surprisingly, potatoes.

Ingredients :
• 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup plain yogurt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp COBR2X
• 1/2 tsp salt
Method :
• Pre-heated the oven at 177˚C
• Prepared the baking sheet that has layered with vegetable oil
• Blend all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
• Mix eggs, sugar and yogurt to the light cream color, pour in COBR2X.
• Pour in the blended flour little by little while in the mix well.
• Pour in vegetable oil and mix well by using spatula
• Pour into an 8" greased baking pan
• Baked in the oven for 45 minutes

*This recipe was tested in Tripper Nature's Kitchen.
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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT: COBRA VANILLA™(Sweet, Floral, Delicate Aroma)
Proprietary Blend: Planifolia and Tahitensis
Tripper's Cobra brand vanilla products are produced at origin and shipped to customers worldwide. In USA these products are available from warehouses in California and New Jersey. Tripper also offers Flying Fox, Lemur, Macaque (organic) brands of vanilla products. COBRA VANILLA products are created from a specially formulated blend of vanilla determined by careful research conducted by our product development lab technicians. COBRA VANILLA is our most popular brand of all natural vanilla products. We have 12 years of vanilla production expertise-Customer satisfaction is a guarantee. Please visit our website for product specification documents : www.tripper.com or call 805-988-8851 to speak directly with one of our sales people.
.:: Cobra Vanilla™ Standard Product List ::.
Seven key taste/flavor characteristics are used as parameters :
• Rhumy
• Phenolic
• Anisic
• Full Bodied
• Creamy
• Beany
• Sweet Balsamic
Olivier Bernard
(CFO Tripper Inc)
As we mentioned in our June 2009 Newsletter, Indonesia has witnessed a miraculous recovery from the brink of economic collapse in 1998. In 2009 the GDP growth was 4.5 % and is likely to be around 6 % for the coming two years. Indonesia has done its homework, restructured its banking system, controlled its budgets, paid back in full its IMF* debt and now finds itself the least leveraged economy in Asia.

Having said that, it is important to note that Indonesia’s currency, the Rupiah (IDR), is the only South East Asian currency not to have appreciated against the USD over the last five years.

Why is this ?  - Well, there are a few things at stake here… inflation being one of them - but the key reason is lack of confidence in the local currency.

Local business people generally do business in Rupiah, but Net Earnings are stored in Singapore banks where the environment is perceived as more stable (which explains why the Singapore Dollar has consistently appreciated against both the Rupiah and the USD). It is likely that going forward, all this money stashed away in Singapore will gradually find its way back to Indonesia and remain here as the local economy continues to strengthen.

In 2010 the Indonesian currency is expected to continue appreciating, under the watchful eye of Bank of Indonesia who like China for the Yuan, wants to control the rise of its currency and make sure it does not hamper export growth. Currently trading at 9,100 against the USD, we expect the Rupiah could go as low as 8,500 in 2010. * International Monetary Fund
Black Spitting Cobra---
Ular Sendok

King Cobra--- Ular Raja

There are two species of cobra --- the King Cobra, usually a resident of the paddies, and the Black Spitting Cobra, comfortable in semi-
urban areas. Both are aggressive if disturbed. The Cobra is easily recognized when he rises and spreads his hood. The colors of the snake range from black to brown to olive. Both can reach a length of 4 meters. Only the Spitting Cobra, can eject a spray of venom for several feet, aiming at the enemy's eyes. This can cause temporary blindness but can be removed with repeated rinsing with sterile water. The nuerotoxic bite of either species can cause pain and swelling with general muscle weakness following and eventual respiratory paralysis.

Like any wild animal, the snake will usually try to escape before it will attack. They will bite if they are stepped on. Most are nocturnal and can be avoided by not walking barefoot at night in dark, swampy, bushy areas.

There are approximately 450 species of snakes in Indonesia. Only five or so are considered dangerously poisonous.

Source : wikipedia.com
TRIPPER NEWSLETTER/Issue4_Vanilla/January 2010
For more information, please visit : www.tripper.com

For questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us at : [email protected]

For pricing or other sales related inquiries, please contact us at : [email protected]
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Spice Update