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|Purpose||promoting the "Sourcing with Respect" of ingredients that come from biodiversity|
The Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) is a nonprofit 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, following the Ethical BioTrade Standard. Members also commit to the UEBT verification system, which includes undergoing independent third party verification against the Ethical BioTrade Standard, developing a work-plan for gradual compliance for all natural, as well as the commitment to continuous improvement once compliance is achieved.
UEBT is a membership-based organisation that was created in May 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was conceptualized in response to multiple developments. First of all, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) acknowledged that additional efforts were needed to reach out to the private sector. The CBD recognized the strong link between business and biodiversity, as well as the dependency of industry on biodiversity and it highlighted the key role the private sector plays in sustainable use and the need for efforts and tools to engage it. In pursuit of the decisions that CBD parties had taken regarding private sector engagement and the use of standards in this, the idea of UEBT was conceived. The creation of the Union for Ethical BioTrade also responded to the need expressed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries for ways to differentiate biodiversity-based products in the market. Finally, UEBT built upon efforts initiated by the BioTrade Initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which was created to contribute to making biodiversity a strategy for sustainable development.
On 8 May 2007, a meeting of the founding members took place and the articles of association were approved. To support the efforts of the Union, the CBD and UEBT signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2008, to encourage companies involved in BioTrade to adopt and promote good practices.
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