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Driven by the joy of senses for the food we consume, Mette Ravn Vanilje is a company that offers the finest gourmet quality vanilla, sourced directly from farmer and farmer-led cooperatives from around the world. Their range offers both organic and conventionally grown vanilla, simply because some of the best vanilla out there doesn’t have an organic certification.
Mette is the vanilla master and namesake on which the company is based on. She has a degree in economics and has worked with business development for many years. During her time spent in Africa, she acquired the knowledge and courage to completely dedicate herself to vanilla – as a distributor of quality vanilla, as a lecturer on vanilla, and even as a judge in vanilla competitions.
Sustainable development is at the heart of Mette Ravn Vanilje’s vision, striving to satisfy the needs of their customers while offering quality, reliability, security and transparency within their entire vanilla catalogue. Their natural vanilla comes straight from the farmers and suppliers they partner with, where it’s produced under organic farming practices. This includes intercropping vanilla with other crops, a system that helps to preserve the soils, continues to provide food for the farmers, and enriches the flavour and overall taste of their vanilla beans.
Processing vanilla is extremely labour intensive, as each vanilla flower is pollinated by hand. After being harvested, the green pods are heated in warm water, fermented, frequently massaged during the drying process, and finally sorted. When you invest in a vanilla bean from Mette Ravn Vanilje, they promise it’s of the highest quality. This means, among other things, that their vanillin content is of at least 1.7%. Vanillin is the substance that gives the taste of vanilla, so the higher the percentage, the more flavourful the vanilla. The water content of their vanilla sticks is also at an optimum level, of either 30% or 35%. If the content of water is too high, the vanilla then waters down, but if it’s too low, the vanilla becomes dry.
They are extremely transparent on the country of origin of their vanilla variety, detailing how each impacts the flavour profile and consistency. They carry four different types of vanilla origins: organic vanilla beans from Madagascar and Uganda, as well as conventionally-grown vanilla from India and Tahiti. They guarantee that all the vanilla they sell, regardless of origin, is grown and produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides or any other kind of chemicals. A good vanilla, like wine, gets even better with age. If stored correctly, everything that Mette Ravn Vanilje sells has a shelf-life of several years, and they provide extensive care guides on how to look after your vanilla sticks.
Mette is also the founder and director of Lake Victoria Vanilla – a certified organic vanilla farm in the north-western part of Tanzania, overlooking Lake Victoria. The area has perfect climatic conditions for vanilla cultivation, as it’s not plagued by tropical storms, floods or droughts. Vanilla harvested there earlier has been of a superior quality, where within a year of curing, vanillin crystals formed on the outside of the pod as a result of high vanillin content. The farm is expected to be able to harvest for the first time in 2022 and be in full capacity by 2025.
You can tell Mette Ravn Vanilje is deeply passionate about vanilla in all of its glory – from the distinctive taste and smell, to its journey from orchid flower to vanilla bean we know and cherish. In order to pass on that knowledge and enthusiasm, Mette provides vanilla lectures varying from as short as 30 minutes to 5 hours, which can include tastings and kitchen demonstrations. Through her lectures she also inspires through the many different ways to use vanilla, not only in the kitchen, but as a fragrance too.
Bean there, done that? Not until you've tasted the organic vanilla from Mette Ravn Vanilje! There's no beating their products in taste and value, so give your recipes a boost with this staple baking ingredient!
The Design Phase is a crucial part of determining a product’s sustainable capabilities. We’ve chosen to highlight a few genius steps that enable a sustainable product right from the beginning.
The materials used for a certain product and how these materials come to life are of crucial importance to the sustainable capabilities we seek in products.
This step relates to the transportation of the raw materials from when they are first obtained (harvested etc.) to the production site. Obviously, the closer to the production site, the better.
Obviously, the production of a certain product has an impact on the overall level of sustainability. Luckily, many manufacturers have now taken steps towards more sustainable production methods.
How a brand chooses to package its products will have a significant influence of the carbon impact from packaging and transportation.
This step relates to the distribution of products when they have been produced. Obviously, the closer to the brand’s warehouse, the better.
How you choose to use and take care of a product has a bigger impact than you think. Just think about how much longer a shirt lasts if it has been washed in the right way.
At this step, there is no way out and we have to find some way of discarding our product. How we discard a product will significantly influence the opportunity of reusing materials used.