Vanilla: the new green gold of Mauritius?
However, today there are only a few local producers of vanilla beans such as the Domaine de Saint Aubin, the Domaine de Labourdonnais or the Jardin des épices et de la vanille.
The aim now is to restore the reputation of Mauritian vanilla, which relies on its strong sweet aromas and tasty essence to seduce consumers.
100% natural, it has everything to seduce the finest gourmets, whether for the local or international market.
The difficulty is that this production is highly dependent on climatic conditions, season and price variations, which makes profitability uncertain.
To this must be added the problem of labour in the agricultural sector, as well as the impact of climate change on agriculture.
Mauritian importers of vanilla beans sometimes pass off the agricultural product as local, as there are no controls or national support schemes for vanilla production in Mauritius.
However, since 2010, the concept of the "Vanilla Islands" has been defined as a brand to reinforce the notoriety of these destinations and promote them internationally.
There is strength in numbers: Vanilla is a natural, gastronomic and touristic element common to the islands of the Indian Ocean.
It can thus be one of the supports to encourage the pooling of the means and know-how of these countries.
But the projects in progress or to come will still have to fit into the framework of another "sustainable Mauritius island" concept, also taking into account the constraints of energy autonomy.