Magazine article International Trade Forum

Agri-Environment as a Market Opportunity

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Agri-Environment as a Market Opportunity

Article excerpt

Through its Trade, Climate Change and Environment Programme (TCCEP), ITC is strengthening the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trade support institutions (TSIs) in agri-environmental sectors in developing countries.

'Consumer demand for environmentally friendly food offers export opportunities for developing countries. With their organic price premia, these niche markets help reduce poverty in rural areas. Organic farm production also reduces pesticide exposure for farmers and helps them mitigate and adapt to climate change,' says Alex Kasterme, ITC Senior Adviser for Trade and Environment.

Despite these opportunities, developing countries face a number of obstacles to exporting organic products, including meeting buyers' demands on quality, a lack of information about requirements and standards, dealing with certification and building relationships with buyers.

With funding from the Government of Denmark, the TCCEP is helping developing countries overcome barriers that result from environment-related standards and as such exploit new market opportunities.

Currently implementing projects in Zambia (organics), Peru (biodiversity products), Kenya (carbon and water standards) and South-East Asia (wildlife trade), the TCCEP delivers technical assistance through:

* Capacity building

--Training exporters, smallholders and collectors in compliance with standards, quality management and achieving market linkages

* Market information and analysis

--Market research (e.g. Trends in the Trade of Certified Coffees)

--How to Guides (e.g. How to Meet Product Carbon Footprints)

--An online platform for the organic sector Organic Link (see box).

ITC also supports developing country governments in the formulation of policies that are more favourable towards environmental exports.


Buyers and sellers

Serving as a portal to link potential buyers and sellers of organic products, Organic Link also contains useful information about organic products and markets. To date, more than 2,000 exporters and importers have registered, resulting in more than US$1.5 million worth of new export business in 2010 according to a recent evaluation of the site. …

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