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ECOCERT’s Kathmandu Convention explores Nepal’s role in shaping organic wellness industry.
ECOCERT India, a leading south Asian organic and fair trade certification body successfully organized a one day convention on 3rd July 2011 at Kathmandu for exploring the business opportunities in the organic herbal trade from Nepal.
“It’s been four years ECOCERT is aggressively working in Nepal for promotion of organic certification services. Our thrust areas have so far been certifying the herbs, essential oils, other processed herbal products and cosmetic products. Nepal is indeed a rich source of rarest herbs of extraordinary therapeutic property and their conservation is possible only by means of sustainable organic trade with rest of the world,” said Dr Amol Nirban, Business Development Manager of ECOCERT India.
“The global organic industry is big. In 2009, the global market for certified organic food and drink was estimated to be 54.9 billion US Dollars or approximately 40 billion Euros. The volume of the turnover with organic products has more than trebled since 1999. While the economic crisis slowed down growth in 2009 in many countries, or stagnated (Germany), some countries showed healthy growth also in 2009, for instance France (+19 percent) or Norway (+10 percent). But share of South Asian countries like Nepal is still very low in global market.” said Dr Abhishek Kumar, Manager, Herbal products division at ECOCERT India.
Nepal, which lies in the middle of the great Himalayan range, is famous for her natural medicinal plants and herbs. It is home to over 3500 different herbs. Many of these herbs and aromatic plants are very specific to the Himalayan Region and have high medicinal, culinary and cosmetic values.
The event that was held at Hotel Greenwich Village witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 30 different company’s representatives. Most of the personalities represented the sectors like conventional trading of wild harvested herbs, essential oils, nutraceuticals and herbal cosmetics.
“A small country like Nepal can not compete in the world market on the basis of quantity of its agricultural or herbs production. It has to launch the value added products like organic and fair trade certified raw as well as finished products to carve a niche for itself.”, says Mr Shanker Gurung, ECOCERT Representative for Nepal.
“This needs to be capitalised by encouraging the organic cultivation and sustainable wild collection of these medicinal and aromatic plants. ECOCERT’s convention certainly unearths the opportunities in this field for the farmers and traders here,” says Gurung.
“More and more consumers are increasingly looking for more ethically produced solutions of taking care of their bodies. The solutions, which could be complementary to the functioning of biosphere we live in. ECOCERT is certainly committed to the cause of making this world a better place to live through its rigorous certification programs and private standards for organic cosmetics and fair trade. The convention for herbal products in Nepal is another such attempt in the process of marching towards this final organizational goal.” says Nirban.