What vanilla variety are you producing?
All of our vanilla is of the Tahitiensis variety. Tahitiensis is the top tier vanilla specie’s that is considered more superior to its relative known as Planifolia or Bourbon. Tahitiensis is also considered more plum in size, rich in flavour and powerful in aroma.
Is vanilla a native plant to Niue?
No, vanilla was introduced to Niue in 1991 as a potential export product and has since developed into a high quality and lucrative export commodity. Vanilla orchids grew very well naturally under local weather conditions and have no quarantine risks or onerous bio-security compliance requirements.
How is vanilla made?
A vanilla plant is an orchid that grows around a support tree either on its own in the wild or in a plantation. Vanilla flowers are then expected to blossom after a period of 9-14 months of cultivation and regular maintenance. Once the flowers open, they are known to last for a minimum of one day where growers are required to pollinate the flowers on a daily basis. Pollination is normally done in the morning before the flowers closes and falls off the vanilla plants. The outcome of one successful pollination results into one bean, hence the natural formula of “one flower forms one vanilla bean”.
How are the flowers pollinated?
There are no existing natural agents to naturally pollinate the flowers. This creates a very demanding task of manually pollinating each vanilla flower before it falls off. The size of the bean depends largely on how skilful the vanilla farmers are in pollinating vanilla flowers and how healthy the vanilla vines and plants have grown. This is one of the factors as to why premium vanilla is considered the second most expensive spice on the world.
Potential threats to the Niue Vanilla Industry?
The flowering season is normally expected from the months of June to Nov however due to the effects of climate change, the flowers have started to blossom on an unpredictable year round pattern. Some months have been documented to have produced more flowers than others which may affect production schedules in the future. The other potential threat to vanilla cultivation is the cyclone season in the South Pacific Ocean. As low depression temperatures become more frequent in the region, Niue is expected to face realistic risks of increased cyclone activity that might bring the same devastation as cyclone Heta previously did. It is the one reoccurring risk that every Pacific Island nation has to be prepared for in every cyclone season.
How is vanilla harvested?
After pollination and the beans are formed as an end product, it normally takes 9-10 months for vanilla beans to mature and ready for proper harvest. Vanilla beans are harvested when they change colour from green to yellowish brown.
How do you properly store vanilla?
For extracts bottles and paste jars, store in a cool dark place inside the pantry. For fresh cured vanilla beans, store in an air tight container. Do not refrigerate as this can cause the beans and liquid content to solidify and crystallized. Like fine wine and many other spices, the quality of vanilla beans and extracts will be enhanced and improved over time if stored correctly. Vanilla beans that are kept in an air tight container in a cool dark place will maintain its premium quality and aroma for many years. Whole beans that have been used in sauces or other liquids can be rinsed, thoroughly dried, and stored for reuse.
Who is NIUE Vanilla International?
NIUE Vanilla International (NVI) is a privately owned family business that is based in the heart of Alofi North. The company is 100% owned and operated by Niueans to help promote Niue and it’s people to the international community.
What is NIUE Vanilla Organic?
NIUE Vanilla Organic is the official brand name of NIUE Vanilla International. All vanilla merchandises are processed, advertised and commercially sold under the brand of NIUE Vanilla Organic.
Who is Niue Vanilla?
Niue Vanilla is an entirely separate company to NIUE Vanilla International and is currently not in any partnership with one another.