08. December 2020

Biotrade SECO contributes expertise in Vietanm Food Forum 2020

Hochiminh City – December 9th 2020, The Regional BioTrade Project in South East Asia implemented by Helvetas Vietnam and the Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED) will participate in the Vietnam Food Forum 2020 – a concurrent event under Vietnam FoodExpo. The Project expects to contribute to discussions on solutions to improve value chains and develop the market for the Vietnam food industry, particularly through introducing the trend of sustainable sourcing and trade of natural ingredient products, also known as BioTrade.       

As a panelist at the Forum, Mr. Andrew Wilson – Regional Manager of the Project will discuss the rising demand for ethically sourced and sustainable products, especially in the time of high market volatility when product innovation and value enrichment are essential. Mr. Ta Minh Son – Representative of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) in South East Asia will present the growing demand for sustainable sourcing certification for products derived from natural ingredients, and offer an introduction about the UEBT Standard as well as an update on the joint UEBT and Rainforest Alliance Herbs & Spices program. BioTrade products by Vietnamese companies, who are following and promoting BioTrade, will also be featured at the event.          

Today, there is a growing demand for natural food and health products. At the same time, consumers have become increasingly aware of biodiversity conservation, especially in high-end markets. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent market research has shown that products with traceability and reliable quality with embedded sustainable economic, social, and environmental value are favored and maintain great growth potential. From the corporate perspective, BioTrade can thus be a strategy to differentiate and enhance their competitiveness to penetrate demanding markets. BioTrade also promotes economic – social – environmental sustainability, thereby contributing to the realization of development goals across different dimensions.

The Regional BioTrade Project in South East Asia funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is motivated by the BioTrade Initiative started by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Project was initially piloted in Vietnam since 2012. After 8 years of implementation, the pilot project has been scaled up to the regional level, covering Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Phase 1 of the Regional Project was implemented during 2016 to August 2020; the key highlights include 10 companies successfully developing 12 natural ingredient value chains following the BioTrade principles and exporting their products to high-end markets. The first phase of the Project also reached more than 10,000 beneficiaries along BioTrade value chains, mostly in the rural areas. Phase 2 of the Regional Project began in September 2020 and is expected to last 4 years. The overall goal of the Project is conservation of biodiversity through sustainable trade of biodiversity products in a manner that integrates local exporters / producers into global value chains and increases income for the rural population of women and men that depend on biodiversity resources for their livelihoods in the Mekong region.


Helvetas is a non-governmental organization, founded in Switzerland in 1955, and supported by more than 100,000 members and sponsors as well as 12 regional volunteer groups. Helvetas has been operating in Vietnam since 1994 in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, governance and peace, water and sanitation, and rural development. Today, Helvetas Vietnam’s programs focus on Sustainable and Inclusive Economies, specific interfaces with Climate Change and Vocational Skills Development are considered and further deepened.

Website: https://www.helvetas.org/en/vietnam  


Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED) is a Vietnam-based Non-Profit Organization, working to ensure greater inclusion of the poor and marginalized groups to take lead in the development of their livelihoods. Founded in 2014, CRED inherited 20 years of work experience in Development and Trade Cooperation from HELVETAS in Vietnam with diversified activities of project management, consultancy services in the fields of Value chain development for Inclusive growth; Climate-smart Agriculture; Water, Environment and Livelihood improvements.

Website: http://cred.org.vn/


The Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) is a Non-Profit Organization founded in Geneva, Switzerland that promotes sustainable sourcing of natural ingredients following the BioTrade principles. UEBT now has 63 members globally with more than 300 natural ingredient supply chains in 65 countries verified against the UEBT Standard. Since 2019, the Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED) has become the official regional representative of UEBT in South East Asia.

Website: https://www.ethicalbiotrade.org/