[Comorian vanilla]. My first, vivid memories of vanilla date back from 1994 in C…

[Comorian vanilla]. My first, vivid memories of vanilla date back from 1994 in Comoros, when I saw my grandmother sorting out these strange black beans. At the time I had no idea what they were for, and did not use any myself until 2015, but I was hypnotized by their smell. Riama Hassani was a vanilla farmer and trader. She started her business by selling straw hats and baskets. Eventually, she made enough money to buy and sell vanilla in the Comoros. She used a substantial amount of the profits to provide food, clothing and school supplies to her children, but also other kids from the village she was from. Because vanilla is so expensive (same price per kg as silver) one might think that she was incredibly wealthy, but it was not the case. She could only sell her vanilla for a tiny fraction of the market value. I wrote this post to commemorate the memory of my grandmother and to encourage you to buy fair trade product as much as possible. Lots of farmers around the world are being exploited and not paid fairly for the amount of work they are putting in. Even though I never really knew her, even today when I open a vanilla pod, it still reminds me of her.
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