Export opportunities in sustainable trade

3 July 2013
ITC News
Enabling exporters in developing countries to realize their potential by providing the information they need to research new markets and expand their businesses

Access to information about international- market opportunities and importers and exporters of sustainably produced honey is crucial to increase trade and to achieve sweet success for honey producers.

ITC’s free market-analysis tools enable developing-country exporters (not only of honey) to find such trade opportunities by providing data on the latest trends in the size and dynamics of markets, the performance of competitors, price trends, market regulations, standards and certifications. The tools also provide contact details of companies involved in import, export, production and distribution.

Take for example an Argentine producer of organic honey looking for export markets. Searching Trade Map for international trends in the trade of honey, she sees that the United States of America imports 25% of the world’s natural honey, a market valued at more than US$ 400 million.

Trade Map also tells her that annual demand for honey in the United States has grown by 20% in the past 5 years, well above the 9% world average, so prospects look good for this market. Searching further, she notices that the United States refined its product classification in 2012 to also include trade in organic honey

It is one of the first countries in the world to do so, and this could be a sign of things to come in other markets. Imports of organic honey in the United States in 2012 represented 3% of all honey imports in the country, equating to a niche market valued at US$ 11.4 million annually.

Drilling down to more recent monthly data, this honey producer sees that demand for organic honey in the United States has grown even faster than demand for regular honey. She also sees that in January 2013, the United States imported organic honey from Argentina, so she concludes that it is feasible for her to approach this market. The data reveals that the United States imported organic honey from Argentina at US$ 6.67 per kilogram, well above the average US market import value of US$ 3.68 per kilogram, which is in turn higher than the import value of US$ 3.36 per kilogram for normal honey.

In Market Access Map, she sees that Argentina faces a customs tariff of less than 1% in the United States. She notices that several supplier countries benefit from tariff-free access, but their advantages are small, and she is reassured that other South American countries that face the same tariff as Argentina, such as Brazil, also export successfully to the United States.

Her next step is to research health and product-safety laws for honey in the United States, as well as other mandatory market regulations with which she needs to comply. In Market Access Map she finds links to websites of US authorities with the market regulation information she needs.

Returning to Trade Map, the honey producer finds contact information for companies that import organic honey into the United States market. But before contacting the companies, she also searches Standards Map to see which organic standards are most relevant to buyers in the United States, and she uses the tool to benchmark her current certification with standards requirements in operation in the United States.

Her research has just begun, but ITC’s tools have already brought her closer to reaching her export goals.

ITC’s tools

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To learn more about how ITC builds the capacity of organic producers, please visit:
To understand how ITC links buyers with exporters of organic products, please visit: