Dairy Dialog podcast 35: Symrise and Unilever support young people in Madagascar and the UK with vanilla project

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Vanilla, Madagascar, Unilever, Symrise

This week, the Dairy Dialog podcast features an interview with three people central to Unilever’s brand Wall’s “Vanilla for Change” campaign, which launched last month.

We spoke with Yannick Leen, global taste competence director vanilla at Symrise France, Hamish Taylor, Symrise advisor on sustainability, and Pilar Pedrinelli, global senior associate brand manager & sustainability lead, Wall’s, at Unilever International N.V in the Netherlands.

We also take a look at the weekly global dairy markets with Liam Fenton, from INTL FCStone.

Vanilla for Change

With the campaign, Unilever and its partners, the non-profit organization Save the Children, the charitable organization ME to WE and flavor producer Symrise, want to reinforce their support for vanilla farmers and young people within the vanilla communities in Madagascar as well as young people in the UK. During the “Vanilla for Change" campaign, when consumers purchase Wall's ice cream, they are supporting a nonprofit project from ME to WE's charitable partner company, the WE schools.

During the Vanilla for Change campaign, consumers will find a Track Your Impact code on Wall's ice cream in the UK. With this, they can learn about their contribution to Wall's projects in schools in the UK and in vanilla-growing communities in Madagascar. For more than three years, Wall’s, Save the Children and Symrise have been working together to support young people in Madagascar. The initiative is currently reaching more than 40,000 people in 76 villages. The benefits provided include health insurance, financial seminars and training.

Wall's is seeking to expand these projects and has now partnered with ME to WE. This non-profit company aims to empower people to make a difference in their day-to-day decisions. Consumers can view the information on their contribution directly via a QR code on the packaging of Cornetto Strawberry, Cornetto Classic, Calippo Combo Strawberry Vanilla and Solero Exotic. By purchasing of the ice cream, they are supporting a non-profit project from ME to WE's charitable partner company, the WE schools.

The WE school program supports both teachers and students with resources and learning opportunities. In total, roughly 100,000 young people in the UK are benefiting from the initiative.

Sebastian Munden, managing director of Unilever in the UK, said, “We can make a difference with our Vanilla for Change program for vanilla farmers in Madagascar as well as young people in the UK. Now all Wall's connoisseurs can see which Malagasy farmers they are helping with our program. Our partnership with the WE schools also inspires young people to invest in their education.”

Symrise support

Symrise supports Wall's with its vanilla expertise and products.

Heinrich Schaper, president flavor division at Symrise, said, “Symrise and Wall's are committed to a supply chain that creates shared value for all participants. Our employees are also friends and neighbors of the small-scale farmers. That is why we are committed to the development of these communities. We are happy that more people can become consciously involved using ‘Track Your Impact.’”

“Vanilla for Change is the first step to demonstrate our commitment to fairness across our supply chain,” ​added Ian Maskell, Global VP Wall’s.

“It’s a beautiful chapter of the journey we embarked on as a brand to make a difference to the lives of the communities we serve, through our purpose of building a happier, more inclusive world one street at a time.”

Gemma Sherrington, responsible for donations and marketing at Save the Children in the UK, said, “Together with Wall's, we want to improve the lives of Malagasy farmers, stabilize their incomes and improve their education and infrastructure. Save the Children understands and fulfilsthe needs of children and their families. With this and the experience of our partners in the vanilla supply chain, we are helping to make sustainable vanilla products while providing concrete improvements in the lives of some of the poorest children in Madagascar.”

Erin Barton, chief development officer at WE, said, “ME to WE is committed to helping young people make our world sustainable. With 4,000 schools and groups, the WE schools provided more than 860,000 hours of volunteer work and collected more than 115,000 kilograms of food for nonprofit panels in 2018. With Wall's Vanilla for Change program, we can help even more young people in the UK and create and strengthen the next generation of dedicated citizens.”

Pics: © Unilever/ © Getty Images (Harvepino/mastaltof) 

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