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Union for Ethical BioTrade launched in Hanoi

Released at: 13:13, 20/08/2019

Union for Ethical BioTrade launched in Hanoi

Photo: Helvetas Vietnam

UEBT a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect.

by Doanh Doanh

Within the framework of the Regional BioTrade Project in South East Asia funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland and implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, HELVETAS Vietnam in collaboration with the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) and the Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED) organized a launch ceremony for UEBT Representative in South East Asia.

UEBT is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. It supports and verifies companies’ commitments to innovation and sourcing that contribute to a world in which people and biodiversity thrive.

Nowadays, consumers are paying more attention to products made from natural ingredients that they use daily, such as food, personal care, and phyto-pharmaceuticals, and have a growing awareness about protecting biodiversity. Companies in these sectors use hundreds and sometimes thousands of ingredients from nature in their products. This can include biodiversity-based fragrances, flavors, and colorants in food or cosmetics, fruit, herbs and flowers for tea, natural ingredients and oils in skincare, and medicinal herbs.

To assure sustainable practices, companies need to have systems in place for ethical sourcing and innovation. UEBT provides guidelines for ethical sourcing systems and give companies a roadmap for implementing such systems. The UEBT Ethical Sourcing System Certification validates that a company has incorporated Ethical BioTrade practices into its systems for sourcing and innovating natural ingredients.

According to Mr. Jonas Grunder, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam, the presence of the UEBT Representative in South East Asia confirms its crucial role in promoting the sustainable collection, production, processing, and commercialization of products derived from native biodiversity. “With SECO’s support to the Regional BioTrade project, biodiversity-based products from Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar will be internationally recognized and traded through supply chains that conform to the principles of BioTrade and the objectives of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD),” he said. “Ultimately, the project contributes to inclusive and sustainable growth of these economies.”

The standard builds on the BioTrade principles and criteria developed by the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative and validates best practices of companies committed to ethical sourcing and innovation of natural ingredients for the benefit of people and biodiversity. Companies that adhere to the UEBT standard respond to growing consumer awareness on biodiversity and expectations that companies take actions in this regard. In view of its rich biodiversity and vibrant private sector, Vietnam can position itself as a provider of a wild variety of natural ingredients that are sourced with respect for people and biodiversity.

Since 2009, UEBT annually measures consumer awareness of biodiversity and how this affects purchasing decisions. Ten years of research on 68,000 people from 16 countries and territories and hundreds of leading companies provides valuable insights that can guide companies and governments in their approaches towards people and biodiversity.

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