© Emmanuel VIRIN

“Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) awarded to Reunion Island vanilla

Published on 7 September 2021

“Reunion Island Vanilla” is the first product of Reunion to receive a PGI quality label.

This seal of approval means worldwide recognition for “Reunion Island Vanilla” which is hence officially listed by the European Union.

This project was led to fruition by farmers and processors belonging to the A2VR vanilla promotion association in the aim of safeguarding the island’s vanilla production and promoting Reunion’s expertise and traditions in terms of vanilla cultivation and preparation.

The geographical area concerned by the “Reunion Island Vanilla” PGI is located in the east of the island and covers the towns and villages between Sainte-Marie and Saint-Joseph, including Sainte-Suzanne, Saint-André, Bras-Panon, Saint-Benoît, Sainte-Rose and Saint-Philippe.

Reunion boasts its first quality label for one of its iconic products. This PGI covers three types of vanilla:

  • Traditional “dried” vanilla: entire pod with a soft, malleable texture, sometimes split along 3cm maximum, with an oily appearance and an even colour ranging from brown to dark chocolate-brown. The pod bends without breaking.
  • “Fresh” vanilla generally produced by the ProVanille cooperative: entire pod, fleshy, shiny, with an even reddish-brown colour, sometimes split along 6cm maximum. The pod is rigid and does not bend without breaking.
  • “Crystallised” vanilla generally produced by the Leichnig family: entire pod still holding its seeds. Apart from being split along half its length maximum, it has the same characteristics as dried or fresh vanilla. The vanilla crystallises naturally as the aromas ripen and the pods develop at their surface vanillin crystals of various shapes: faceted, star-shaped or in the form of needles or sugar grains.