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Trade and Environment projects

  • TEP is currently implementing three projects on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity: in Zambia on organic and natural products, in Peru on biodiversity products, and in South East Asia on wildlife trade.


    Organic products in Zambia

    Zambia Organic Training Devil's Claw Workshop

    TEP is currently implementing a project in Zambia with the objective to increase the competitiveness of Zambian SMEs exporting products in the organic and sustainability segments of the food and natural products market.

    Through this project, TEP is carrying out a number of tailor-made trainings related to the development of organic or natural product production and processing, capacity building of companies and compliance with market requirements and standards, policy strengthening support to governments and partners, identification of new markets and diversification of client base, promotion of best practice and trade fair participation.

    In 2011, the project entered its first phase of implementation. Two sets of activities were carried out:

    • A series of trainings on organic production, processing, certification and marketing were offered to the wider Zambian agri-food and natural products community, and
    • Targeted technical assistance was provided to individual SMEs including product and market development and support to prepare for organic certification.

    Twenty companies, linked to over 6,000 producers, have participated in ITC’s training events on organics in Zambia.

    In January 2012, ITC held an event focused on the Domestic Zambian Market for Natural and Organic Products, which 50 participants attended. The event included presentations on sustainable agricultural practices, market trends for Zambian natural products, buyer requirements and marketing, as well as working groups to identify what can be done to strengthen the Zambian market for natural and organic products.


    Biodiversity based products in Peru

    Peru Natural Products

    The objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of Peruvian SMEs exporting biodiversity based products. This is achieved through training to the Peruvian natural product export sector on market requirements and linkages, as well as training targeted to individual companies.

    In May 2011, ITC carried out a needs assessment mission on biotrade to Peru. The results of the mission demonstrated that there was a strong demand for technical assistance in overcoming barriers to export to the United States and European Union markets as well as addressing sustainability of supply.

    Working in collaboration with PROMPERU, ITC has selected 8 companies in the first phase of the project with whom to provide technical assistance. These companies are linked to over 10,000 suppliers of natural products in the Andes and Amazon regions.

    Key activities in the first phase of the project have included the following:


     

    Wildlife trade in Southeast Asia and the fashion industry

    Many animal and plant species are being overexploited through international supply chains worth billions of dollars. These products are being used in industries ranging from cosmetics to traditional medicines to fashion. While the trade provides a cash income to some of the world’s poorest people, there are strong concerns that the trade is not sustainable and is placing the world’s biodiversity under threat.

    This lack of sustainability in the wildlife trade is often reinforced by weak regulation and enforcement, criminality and lack of consumer understanding about threats to species.

    ITC is working in partnership with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to analyze the trade of python snake products from the wild and to make recommendations to the fashion industry and regulators for its improvement.

     CITES images

     

    Past Projects

    East Africa Organic Project (2005-2010)

    In Uganda the following support was given to companies – TSIs were included as beneficiaries or facilitators of support:

    • Training on organic certification and internal control systems: ITC worked with four companies linked to 4,000 smallholders and contract farmers to establish an internal control system for companies to manage group certification. At the same time, ITC trained lead farmers (training of trainers) in organic production and processing to help ensure that farmers are compliant with requirements. This process resulted in the certification co financed by the companies and thus secured access to premium markets in Europe.
    • Preparing companies for international trade fair and co financing participation: ITC worked with 7 Ugandan companies during this period in preparing them and co-financing their participation in Biofach, the world’s largest trade fair for organics. ITC worked with international partners (SIDA, Hivos) and national ministries to create an African Pavilion in order to highlight offers from African companies who otherwise would not have had visibility at what was a huge fair. Now in its 4th year, Africa Pavilion has country stands from 15 African countries including Uganda, the largest of the stands. This initiative has helped generate several million dollars worth of business based on the organisers follow up evaluations.
    • Training on web-based marketing: In 2007, ITC in partnership with the National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda organised a workshop and follow up trainings for TSIs and companies in marketing their products through the web. Training included how to design and maintain websites and how to access information on organic market opportunities on the web. This resulted in companies accessing new buyers and orders.
    • Organisation of European buyer mission to Uganda: In 2007, ITC organised a mission of 8 European buyers to Uganda. They visited companies in an event in Kampala followed by 3 days of field visits. The trip was much appreciated by the sector and resulted in new orders and a diversified client base for suppliers.

    In Rwanda and East Africa: Stakeholder Meeting for Organic Agriculture. At the request of the Government of Rwanda, a two-day Stakeholder Meeting for the organic sector was held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2007. The meeting gathered key people from the public and private sector in Rwanda, as well as representatives from the organic movements in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The programme included 25 technical presentations and group work which resulted in recommendations for an Action Plan on organic agriculture (policy recommendations) to present to the Ministry of Agriculture. This meeting resulted in recommendations for an action plan on organic agriculture policy.

    Regional Conference in Asia

    In 2007, ITC’s Asia Trust Fund jointly organised and funded, with the European Commission, a three-day Regional Conference on Organic Agriculture. The meeting informed participants about:

    • Recent developments in EU and US markets for organic products,
    • Trade and market development in the Asian region,
    • Import requirements in the EU and US,
    • International harmonization and equivalence, and
    • Organic agriculture, poverty reduction and climate change.
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