Peruvian natural resources

Did you know that Peru’s endemic plant species offer vast applications of natural ingredients for the European food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries? Last month, courtesy of the Swiss Import Promotion Program I made the trip to Lima to observe and report on the rapidly developing BioTrade project which, in a nutshell, ‘mentors’ the local companies in their quest to bring their products to the European markets.

Do not underestimate the richness of this resource! Together with the professionalism and technical expertise being employed in the extraction and commercialisation process – Peru is rapidly becoming one of the most important and exciting places for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Peru is in the top ten of mega-diverse countries in the
world. Its forest coverage, Andean terrain and its variety of microclimates create perfect conditions for healthy ecosystems -resulting in a thriving biological diversity.

To ensure the preservation of this natural heritage and sustainability of the industry for future generations the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), with help from foreign investment, established the BioTrade project to regulate the production, transformation and commercialisation of biodiversity. Extraction and regeneration are carefully balanced using methodologies which take into account traditional knowledge as well as ecological and socio-economic criteria.

This article is available in full in the Winter 2011 issue of Nutraceuticals Now