Sustainable Sourcing

Markets for Certified Chinese Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

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This study on the market potential of sustainably wild-collected botanical ingredients originating from the People’s Republic of China with fair and organic certifications provides an overview of current export trade in both wild-collected and cultivated botanical, algal and fungal ingredients from China, market segments such as the fair trade and organic sectors, and the market trends for certified ingredients. It also investigates which international standards would be the most appropriate and applicable to the special case of China in consideration of its biodiversity conservation efforts in traditional wild collection communities and regions.



Conclusions and recommendations

Market and trade data referred to in this report generally show that consumer demand for certified organic ingredients and products continues to increase year-on-year. The data also show that demand for ingredients and products with dual certification (organic + fair) is also growing. While the sustainableproducts consumer was once satisfied with organic certification, this is no longer the case. The educated consumer is becoming more familiar with the concept that sustainability is built on three interrelated pillars: environmental protection, social equity and economic viability. In the case of herbal medicinal products, determining whether a product is sustainable can take into consideration the long-term survival of the people, plants and animals where the herbs are harvested (health of the whole ecosystem) and guarantees of equitable trade to incentivize local herb-harvesting communities to serve as good stewards of the ecosystem for sustainable trade and use of biodiversity products.


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