Contributing to local development
Ethical sourcing of biodiversity contributes to a world in which both people and biodiversity thrive. Alongside the conservation of biodiversity, local development is thus at the core of ethical sourcing of biodiversity. Local communities continue to play a crucial role in conserving and restoring biodiversity, through their practices and traditions. Collectors and farmers also lead efforts on sustainable use of biodiversity, through the implementation of good practices. Producers, lastly, add value to natural ingredients by contributing knowledge and stories that distinguish products in the market.
This is why in its Ethical BioTrade Standard, UEBT recognizes the importance of local producers and their communities and requires the improvement of their living conditions based on their own vision, values and goals. The Standard enjoins companies to engage with local producers through partnerships; pay equitable prices; and contribute to local sustainable development.
Dialogue and partnerships
In ethical sourcing of biodiversity, companies and local producers must engage based on dialogue and partnerships. UEBT members work towards ensuring long-term partnerships with local producers resulting in trust, enhanced collaboration and broader benefits for all actors. Companies also ensure that negotiations with local producers are informed, inclusive and consider customary law. UEBT provides different tools and methodologies for engagement with local actors, including through guidelines and technical support for biocultural dialogues.
Under the Ethical BioTrade Standard, producers must receive equitable prices, covering the costs of good practices and improving their quality of life and that of their communities. The price is considered equitable if :
- it has been established based on informed negotiations between the producer and the company
- the calculation of the costs of ethical sourcing has been looked at
- it is periodically reviewed to reflect changes
- the possibility of pre-financing to buy equipment for instance, have been considered.
Ethical sourcing of biodiversity also contributes to local development by:
- improving living conditions of producers and their communities based on their own values, goals and priorities.
- generating work and value at local level. Sourcing activities should be structured to, whenever possible, engage producers and their communities in productive tasks and stages. For example, training on ethical sourcing should empower local actors and develop their capacities and skills.
- improving producers' lives beyond just generating income. UEBT members may contribute more broadly to improved well-being. For example, companies may leverage their resources to facilitate community projects linked to issues such as health or education.
Dialogue among actors is always important to identify and ensure activities to contribute to local development.