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Environment

Entrepreneurs see biodiversity as part of their business

A study conducted in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru on 300 businessmen from the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods industries, revealed they want more legal certainty to source natural resources.

The interest in natural ingredients will increase over the next 10 years © (...)

The interest in natural ingredients will increase over the next 10 years © Shutterstock

A mapping done in four Latin American countries shows how companies in the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods industries consider the importance of biodiversity for their business. The goal was to identify opportunities to promote sustainable use of biodiversity as a source of innovation and supply. The study conducted by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) surveyed about 300 entrepreneurs in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

Interest in natural ingredients is set to increase

According to the survey, 70% of entrepreneurs said that biodiversity is important to their business, especially Bolivians and Brazilians with 85% and 80%, respectively. And over 94% of respondents in Brazil, Colombia and Peru said the interest in natural ingredients will increase over the next 10 years. Most companies in the studied countries (80%) bet on natural ingredients as a source of technological innovation in their products.

Industry seeks legal certainty

Brazilian entrepreneurs seem to be leading the path to sustainability. In the mapping, they stood out among their Latin American neighbours in the race towards natural resources. In Brazil, biodiversity is on the radar, especially in the cosmetics industry. In some regions of the Amazon, leading cosmetics companies have been working with environmental NGOs in order to set up trade protocols with local communities and thus share with them the benefits obtained by using biodiversity.

The UEBT mapping also indicates that entrepreneurs in Brazil are looking for legal certainty. In order to go forward in this way, of the industries that consider biodiversity as a source of inputs united themselves to support the National Biodiversity Targets for 2020, established in application of the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

In the other countries surveyed by the UEBT, the situation is quite marked by a lack of regulatory frameworks. "And this is the main impediment to an efficient access to biodiversity," the organization said.

Opportunities

The UEBT survey also found opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs in the four countries. As far as the cosmetics industry is concerned, and Brazil is an example, operators have already understood that the market trend promotes nature-sourced ingredients, in particular oils, extracts, flavours. And they also know that they are a source of technological innovation. The study also revealed a growing desire for "more botanicals" in cosmetic formulas.

The challenge - for everyone - is to ensure the legality of the access to natural resources.

© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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