Vanilla is the second most expensive spice available today (just after saffron). Each flower on the Vine is hand pollinated which takes many hours of work.
Once the beans have reached the right time for picking, there is a lengthy process in preparation bringing it to what we know as a Vanilla Bean.
After the various stages of processing the beans are finally left to mature. This develops that heavenly Vanilla flavour and Aroma that we are familiar with. A process which takes around 6 months.
Another factor that has contributed to the high price is severe weather damaging the crop. Damage caused by weather can lead to a reduction in the harvest available to buy and therefore an increase in price to the consumer.