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Partnership Paves Way to Ethical Sourcing of Biodiversity in Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi

Nairobi, Kenya, 22 May 2013 – International Day for Biodiversity — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with non-profit organizations PhytoTrade Africa, and the Union for Ethical BioTrade to promote ethical sourcing of products by the private sector in Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi. The partnership will contribute to protect nature and reduce poverty in these countries.
Africa is rich in biodiversity and there are many opportunities for ethically sourced African products in the cosmetics and food sector.
Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director of Union for Ethical Biotrade said, “When we asked 5,000 consumers what would make them purchase a product containing natural ingredients from Africa, protecting biodiversity and improving livelihoods of African producers were the two most popular responses. This partnership will allow us to build on this opportunity and promote ethical sourcing of biodiversity in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.”
Through ethical sourcing practices, cosmetics, food and beverage companies can make an important contribution to the conservation of biodiversity. The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 to be the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity.
Sara Clancy, Manager for IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory Program in Africa, said, “In East and Southern Africa, the private sector is seeking to understand how to address biodiversity and conservation issues when dealing with products that come from rural and forested areas. Through the new agreements, IFC and the BioTrade partners will guide companies on how to source, process and sell products without harming the environment and societies.”
In Malawi and Mozambique, IFC and PhytoTrade will work with the baobab and mafura supply chains to increase market access and create linkages between local producers and large international organizations. The number of international buyers for baobab and mafura products in the two countries has been rising rapidly, leading to new investment opportunities. In Tanzania, IFC and the Union for Ethical BioTrade will work to strengthen the allanblackia supply chain and promote market uptake of this vegetable oil.
John Cheesmond CEO of PhytoTrade Africa commented, “We are very pleased to secure this funding from the IFC to work on these important projects in Southern Africa. Baobab oil is now included in numerous cosmetic formulations, whilst we continue to develop baobab powder as a nutritional ingredient. In the future, Mafura may offer an alternative to palm oil and contribute to the regeneration of an industry in Mozambique. PhytoTrade looks forward to working on these projects over the next three years.”
The partnership is co-financed by the BioTrade Trust Fund, which is administered by IFC and aims to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity by expanding the BioTrade market. It is financed by the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands. The partnerships are part of IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory program, which works with companies across Africa to promote sustainable practices to create employment, encourage growth, address climate change and protect local communities.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
About PhytoTrade Africa
PhytoTrade is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the development of an enduring and equitable natural products industry based on resources accessible to poor rural communities in Southern Africa. It acts as a representative body for SMEs with a membership of nearly 60 members in eight countries (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). For more information, visit
About The Union for Ethical BioTrade
The Union for Ethical BioTrade is a non-profit association that promotes the 'Sourcing with Respect' of ingredients that come from biodiversity. Members commit to gradually ensuring that their sourcing practices promote the conservation of biodiversity, respect traditional knowledge and assure the equitable sharing of benefits all along the supply chain. For more information, visit
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