Ethical Biotrade

Ethical biotrade encourages enterprises to move towards ‘respectful’ sourcing of ingredients originating in indigenous biodiversity. The aim? To encourage the fair sharing of benefits with local producers and the communities concerned.

According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a number of companies extracting the natural resources of certain regions are not aware of the need to provide compensation to the local communities, who are the custodians of traditional knowledge and biodiversity.
Based in Geneva, the Union for Ethical BioTrade is a young, not-for-profit organisation created in May 2007 with the support of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). Its mission: to promote ‘respectful’ sourcing (“Sourcing with Respect”). During their development, production and marketing phases, the member companies undertake to work in a sustainable way. This takes the form of respecting the traditional knowledge of the communities of the extraction regions, conservation of the local biodiversity and fair remuneration of all the operators involved in the production of these products. Observation of these rules avoids biopiracy - the use of local knowledge or biodiversity ingredients without compensation to the communities.

The association has three types of member: traders, affiliates and individuals. The first two can elect the management committee and approve the management of the organisation. For the moment, the majority of the members are active in the cosmetics and personal care industries.