The International Trade Centre (ITC) works to boost Fairtrade and environmental exports of developing countries, including exports of cultural, ethnic and organic products. ITC also supports biodiversity, enables exporters to adapt to climate change and targets increased use of green technologies.
The growing organic food and fibre market, which plays an important role in reducing poverty in rural areas, offers export opportunities for developing countries. Organic farm production produces important environmental benefits and helps farmers mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, developing countries face obstacles to exporting their products, including buyers’ quality demands, the need to build relationships with buyers, a lack of information about standards and certification requirements.
Millions of households in the developing world depend heavily on biodiversity products for subsistence income and to meet health and nutritional needs, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Green-certification schemes can help ensure sustainable supply and improved quality, but producers often do not have the knowledge and resources to meet standards and conservation requirements.
In response to consumer concerns about climate change, retailers are developing carbon labels that provide information about the carbon footprint of products. Carbon labelling is an important market differentiation tool for retailers, and many suppliers are now required to measure emissions in production, processing and transport.
Green technologies are goods and services that improve the quality of air, water, soil, waste and noise-related problems. ITC’s trade-related technical-assistance team defines green technologies as environmentally supportive technologies and services that are affordable, adaptable and available for use in – but also exportable from – developing countries.