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BioTrade: A Catalyst for Transitioning to a Green Economy in Peru

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Publication Date: 2012

Peru’s BioTrade sector offers tremendous potential, with its vast biodiversity, to develop new production lines that will help consolidate its current range of goods and services. Peru has 84 of the world’s 104 climate zones and is amongst the top 10 countries that account for the world’s greatest biodiversity of plant and animal species. It is recognized internationally as the leading exporter of organic coffee and bananas; as the second largest producer of organic cocoa; and is one of the largest producers of nutraceuticals and functional foods, such as maca, yacon, sacha inchi, camu-camu and various Andean grains.

The primary links of the BioTrade products' value chains are mainly located in rural areas of extreme poverty and fragile ecosystems. In this context, BioTrade constitutes a priority tool that offers even greater potential to promote sustainable development through the sustainable use and conservation of traditional biodiversity, whilst simultaneously supporting pro-poor development. 

Peru's strategy rests on a National BioTrade Program, the main objective of which is to promote and support the creation and consolidation of traditional biodiversity-based businesses through research and product innovation, applying environmental, social and economic sustainability criteria. The Program is based on an inter-institutional coordination with the National BioTrade Commission, a platform comprising public and private sector institutions that contribute to the development of BioTrade in Peru.

The best example of the work currently being done by these institutions is the development of Peruvian exports of biodiversity products, which have grown almost 10.8 per cent in 2011 as against 2010, reaching USD 351 million. Today, more than 10,000 people, mainly in rural areas and working for the sector, are being paid a fair price for their products. These prices reach about 30 per cent above the average minimum in the country, generating a positive impact on social inclusion.

Today’s challenge is to guide these businesses under the framework and principles of sustainable BioTrade, to ensure sustainability over time, as well as to promote better income generation throughout the entire value chain, working in coordination

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Gervase Poulden
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11 June 2013

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