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Sustainability - History

Heilala Vanilla is sourced from the Kingdom of Tonga. The Pacific is part of our DNA. 

Heilala Vanilla was founded by John Ross to assist the Latu family and the village of Utungake in Vava’u following Cyclone Waka that struck Tonga on January 1st in 2002. Together the two families established a vanilla plantation with a vision to provide a sustainable future, employment, and a sense of purpose and pride for the village.

It’s been over 15 years since Heilala Vanilla started its humanitarian mission to empower the people of Tonga with a rich local industry and thriving future. Heilala’s commitment to their grower families is to promote inter-generational self-sufficiency while also harvesting superior quality vanilla.

Because of the depth of their relationships in grower communities, Heilala are the only vanilla company that is directly involved in planting, growing, harvesting, processing, and marketing vanilla. Their community focus and unique ‘bean to bottle’ supply chain ensures the company is sustainable for generations to come.

Heilala believe that the best vanilla comes from long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect. The company is passionate about supporting 400 vanilla farming families in Tonga through partnerships that build local community opportunities.

Heilala Vanilla is the good vanilla – good for the community, the growers and their families.

Find our 2020 Impact Statement here.