Discovery of vanilla produced in agroforestry
Although the cultivation of vanilla in Guadeloupe has decreased significantly during the twentieth century, there are now passionate men and women, including Cedric Coutellier, who day after day, participate in maintaining this local production and the know-how of its refining
Cédric Coutellier is one of the driving forces behind the revival of the heritage vanilla culture, actively involved in the agricultural and rural development of Guadeloupe.
Settled on the island since 1998 and working in partnership with the National Forestry Office (ONF), this great enthusiast has perfectly assimilated the techniques of cultivation, fertilization, harvesting and processing. He has progressively forged a recognized place among the experts of vanilla cultivation in Guadeloupe and regularly participates in training activities for the transmission of the know-how inherent to this subtle culture. The consecration of this recognition came in 2020 at the International Agricultural Show. On this occasion, Cédric Coutellier presented for the first time his organic vanilla cultivated in agroforestry in the National Park of Guadeloupe during the 129e edition of the Concours général agricole and unanimously won the gold medal in its category (Vanilla Fragans planifolia), dethroning the Reunionese who had held it for a long time.
Cédric Coutellier is one of those professionals committed to the development of sustainable agriculture that respects natural ecosystems. His partnership with the ONF leads him day after day to develop cultivation systems with a minimal environmental impact and to elaborate a product that fits perfectly into the forest ecosystem, favoring natural bio-geochemical cycles. Cédric Coutellier's vanilla is also certified as organic. Through his full commitment to this collaboration with the ONF, he intends to defend tropical agroforestry by demonstrating that agriculture can be integrated into pre-existing ecosystems without degrading their natural functioning. This type of agriculture positions the AB label in another dimension where no external organic matter is tolerated: the farmer must find solutions within the forest he farms. This way of cultivating is a new way of seeing agriculture which allows to revalorize the local landscapes, the forests and the biodiversity that they shelter. This double labeling agroforestry / organic farming also guarantees consumers the purchase of a high quality product, both from a gustatory and environmental point of view.
Visit of the agro-forestry farm
Cédric Coutellier proposes a weekly visit of his farm on a forest space of more than 6 ha, essentially reforested with Mahogany about fifty years ago. It is for him the opportunity to transmit rich and precise explanations on his exploitation conditions, his respect of the natural environment, his partnership with the ONF, in short his passion. Cédric Coutellier will take you into this departmental forest, as if it were a sacred space, and will introduce you to a 1000 square meter plot where no less than 3 different varieties of vanilla flourish. Depending on the time of year you choose to visit, you may have the chance to observe bunches of flowers and the producer in action during the subtle act of pollination.
You will leave this forest with eyes as sparkling as your guide's gaze, nostrils flaring, a smile brightened by the sympathy of the moment, and a mind in turmoil from having received a thousand and one pieces of information in a generous burst of passion. At the end of the visit, you can benefit from the direct sale of exceptional vanilla beans.
Adult: 10 € ;
Child [7 years - 14 years] : 5 € ;
Children > 7 years old : Free.
Additional information :
Registration is required;
The appointment is given at 9:15 am at "la Boucan" in the commune of Sainte Rose on the parking lot of the bakery "Délices de Pains" and the mini-market "SID" in front of the Bonne Mère de Mère factory (https://maps.app.goo.gl/nq3bAmDNmTdd2YJR6) ;
For a visit of nearly 2 hours in the rainforest, it is recommended to wear closed shoes, pants and to bring a waterproof overcoat (or an umbrella) in case of rain;
For groups, we recommend the use of a 9-seater minibus to facilitate access to the forest (buses with more than 20 seats are not allowed).