UNCTAD Says Biotrade is Growing Exponentially, Generating Jobs and Protecting Biodiversity
The trade in sustainable plant and animal products – or "BioTrade" – is growing exponentially, with export values reaching $4.5 billion in 2015 from $40 million in 2003, according to a new UNCTAD report published on December 3rd.
Increased environmental awareness and shifting consumer preferences mean this growth is set to continue, generating jobs and incomes and protecting biodiversity too, says the report, entitled “BioTrade: Connecting People, Planet and Markets.”
The report highlights that some Dzao communities in north-west Vietnam nearly doubled their incomes by processing and selling one of their region's native plants, Che-day, (ampelopsis cantoniensis), to a local company, Traphaco. Traditionally used to treat digestion-related diseases, the plant is a key ingredient in one of the company's best-selling products for common gastric and intestinal inflammations. The report also highlights trade in amphibians for pets and educational markets.
New EU regulation on novel food which comes into force in 2018, may facilitate access to the EU market for some traditional food products which have a history of safe use, cutting the authorization procedure for a novel food from about 3 years to 18 months.
UNCTAD supports countries to identify and seize new opportunities for BioTrade, and to introduce and implement the policies that help this trade to grow.