Patricia Rain, at, describes an interesting organization that works to better the lives of small-scale vanilla farmers. Here's some more from Patricia:

We are now working to establish the ITFN as a non-profit organization that will provide farmers with tools and resources for producing premium-quality vanilla. We want to establish an interactive web site specifically designed for farmers, where they can get or post information on vanilla and learn more about crops to raise along with vanilla. We are setting up women's collectives so that women in the vanilla-growing regions can have an independent source of income. We are planning a conference for 2008 in Indonesia. And we are forming a “Friends of the ITFN” for people who believe in what we are doing and wish to be part of the solution to the challenges for those farming in the tropics.

To be a part of the ITFN in some capacity or to donate funds to assist us in getting our projects underway, please contact me at We are in need of assistance in make this program be all that it can be for vanilla farmers everywhere. We would also like our program to be a model for other groups as we are the only international grass-roots tropical producer organization in the world. Do visit to learn more about vanilla. We can be the change we wish to see!

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