Firmenich and Danida in Uganda

Sustainable vanilla sourcing through an innovative partnership


08 March, 2015


Case Study


It’s been over seven years since a strategic partnership was established between Firmenich, a leader in the flavor and fragrance industry and one of the world’s largest buyers of sustainable vanilla; DANIDA, the development arm of the Danish Government; and Uvan Ltd., Uganda’s local vanilla processor. This partnership, rooted in the core competences of each partner, aimed to create a sustainable supply of Ugandan vanilla.

The partners believed there was a great opportunity in Uganda to establish and secure long-term and high-quality vanilla production, and in turn create a better business for everyone involved. Firmenich was trying to reduce the risk of relying too heavily on vanilla imports from Madagascar. Uvan wanted to expend its vanilla business by engaging farmers in a more holistic way. DANIDA saw an opportunity to support commercially oriented partnerships between global and local businesses in order to mitigate some of the risks inherent in the pursuit of n
ew business opportunities in developing countries.

This study summarizes the partnership’s results, which build on both commercial objectives as well as strong social and environmental goals. It also highlights lessons learned in terms of developing innovative models for strategic partnerships between donor agencies, global, and local businesses with support from NGOs.