Monthly Archives: February 2017

Professor Iain Fraser

Choosy consumers drive a near 1000% spike in vanilla prices

“If you had been a canny investor back in 2008, you could have done a lot worse than make a substantial bet on upmarket ice cream futures. The price of vanilla beans has rocketed from as little as US$25 per kilo eight years ago up to US$240 at the end of 2016. Some forecasts predict it will reach as much as US$450 per kilo by the middle of 2017. Even by the standards of volatile prices in agricultural commodities such as rice and grains this is exceptional.

Unlike other price increases that were shortlived and the result of policy decisions, the price of vanilla beans is being driven by something else. In short, it is all down to us, the fickle consumer and our love of authentic cones, custard and crème brûlée…”

This is an excerpt from an article by the School’s Professor Iain Fraser, published in The Conversation on 27 February 2017. Click here to read the full article.


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Economics PhD student to join World Bank

Economics PhD student, Sashana Whyte, has been selected to join the Young Professionals Program of the World Bank from September this year.

Since its inception in 1963, the World Bank’s Young Professionals Program has recruited over 1,700 people from nearly 120 countries, who now range from new recruits to senior management in the World Bank Group. The program was established and still is in place to attract outstanding, highly qualified, diverse, experienced and motivated younger individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to international development, supported by academic success, professional achievement and potential for leadership. The Program recruits through a highly selective and competitive process and then facilitates the rapid integration of the newly recruited Young Professionals into the World Bank Group’™s business and culture.

Sashana was selected for one of 40 positions from 4,000 applicants. This is a considerable achievement on her part and she deserves our warmest congratulations and very best wishes for her future career.