Natural vanilla extract is a key ingredient in our world-renowned Elephant House Vanilla Ice Cream and we source our vanilla locally from Sri Lankan farmers in an effort to provide sustainable assistance to elevate their livelihood.
In the year 2002, Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS) initiated a project that trialled and tested the first successful local natural vanilla extraction formula that was also deemed financially feasible.
We decided to share that knowledge with local vanilla farmers to help them revive the local vanilla industry which was only yielding around 30 kg per year at the time.
We collaborated with Kandy Vanilla Growers Association (KVGA), a small group of 30 farmers who were involved in vanilla production, in reviving the local vanilla industry.
After providing them with the assurance that we would buy their total vanilla bean production through a Forward Buying Agreement, CCS encouraged KVGA to enlist more local farmers to our initiative.
Today, nearly 3,000 farmers are engaged in the profitable cultivation of vanilla in the Matale, Kandy, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya. Gampaha, Rathnapura, Badulla, Colombo, and Kalutara districts of Sri Lanka.
Empowered by our forward buying agreement, KVGA acts as a supporting partner to the farmers who have registered with them to process and deliver vanilla as per our quality protocols.
Under this Forward Buying Agreement (FBA), Kandy Vanilla Growers Association provides assistance to the farmers who are registered with them. The association collects the harvest and processes the same and supplies to CCS, following which funds are released to the KVGA and the association takes the responsibility to distribute the payment among farmers.
Since 2017, the price of cured vanilla beans, which meets industry quality standards has increased to LKR 60,000 per kilogram, Given the fluctuating vanilla prices in the world market, our partnership with the local farmers has been mutually beneficial and have helped us elevate
the sustainable livelihood of Sri Lankan farmers while being able to use 100% locally sourced vanilla in our products.