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New Zealand vanilla brand, Heilala Vanilla, is celebrating a landmark year after reaching its tenth birthday, while also achieving record planting numbers. 

2018 marks ten years since the Heilala Vanilla brand was established and to mark the momentous occasion, the company has just completed a record 100 acres of vanilla planting in Tonga – with the first crop due to be harvested in 2021.
This new planting sees Heilala become the largest vanilla plantation in the South Pacific and ensures the company is geared up for further expansion in the United States market where sales have increased by more than 300 percent in the past 12 months. 

Reaching 100 acres of vanilla has been a focus for the vanilla brand for the past 18 months and will set the company and its vanilla supply up for a more sustainable future.
Heilala was able to take on the additional planting due to a partnership with His Majesty King Tupou VI and a partner grower who is well-respected in the vanilla industry.  
The planting of another 50 acres of vanilla seedlings is planned for early 2019, to bring the total new plantings to 150 acres.

The increase allows the company to support the global vanilla demands which has seen international prices reach record highs over the past three years – due to both increased demand for real vanilla and climatic issues affecting supply. 

100 acres is a significant increase on the standard plantation size of eight acres, demonstrating Heilala’s commitment to supporting additional Tongan communities. The growth will result in increased employment – particularly of local women – in the small Pacific Island. Heilala has a goal for 200 women to be employed in the Vanilla Industry in Tonga by 2022.

“2018 has been a big year not just for us as a brand, but for the people of Tonga. They have shown their incredible resilience following Cyclone Gita and we now have a solid plan in place to continue to support and provide positive impact for these communities in the future,” says Jennifer Boggiss, Heilala Vanilla CEO and co-founder.

“It’s been ten years since I quit my day job as an accountant and put 100 percent of my efforts and focus into Heilala Vanilla and we’re excited about what the future holds – particularly as we increase our presence within the US market,” concludes Boggiss.

For more information about Heilala Vanilla visit 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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