Promoting Ethical BioTrade



Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 15.20.16.png

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. In 1996, UNCTAD created the term “BioTrade” and the BioTrade Initiative as an instrument to enable countries to harmonize economic development with conservation of biodiversity through the trade of goods and services derived from biodiversity.

The BioTrade activities are framed within the global conservation and development objectives established by the CBD, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Together with developing country actors, UNCTAD elaborated guiding principles and criteria for BioTrade that now form the basis of the UEBT Standard (see picture below) and verification framework.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 13.53.18.png


Ethical BioTrade : is the sourcing (i.e. activities of collection, production, transformation, and commercialization) of natural ingredients (from plants or animals) that respects biodiversity and all the partners along the supply chain and communities involved.

Respecting biodiversity means taking care of the natural spaces from which plants are sourced (conservation of biodiversity) and making sure that the plants that are cultivated and harvested stay healthy and productive in time (sustainable use of biodiversity).

Respecting partners, as well as their communities, means building a long-term, balanced and positive relationship. For example, in Ethical BioTrade local producers are well informed and participate actively in decision-making. Human rights, as well as the rights of workers and indigenous and local communities, are recognized and respected. Sourcing activities entail equitable prices for natural ingredients and contribute to sustainable development, by generating value, work and capacities at the local level.


Ethical BioTrade in numbers


€4.3 billion

sales of BioTrade beneficiary companies and associations (2015)


5 million

beneficiaries of BioTrade worlwide