Providing Peruvian sacha inchi farmers access to the United States market
Sacha inchi is a native plant of Peru cultivated by smallholder farmers in the Amazon basin. It is a superfood rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which can be consumed as a snack or used as cooking or salad oil. Demand for sacha inchi oil has grown as awareness of its health benefits has increased.
In October, ITC helped Peruvian exporters receive the ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) certification, a key Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirement to enter markets in the United States. Prior to obtaining GRAS approval, Peruvian enterprises faced technical barriers in exporting their products to the United States. To export sacha inchi in large volumes, enterprises must receive a GRAS certification to prove their products are healthy for consumption. Receiving this certification eliminated a technical barrier to trade for smallholder farmers producing sacha inchi in Peru.
ITC provided technical support for the development of the GRAS dossier and facilitated market access for Peruvian small and medium-sized enterprises exporting sacha inchi oil. This involved clinical research to classify the chemical, botanical and pharmaceutical properties to ensure consumer safety. Now, after overcoming this major barrier to trade, industry players expect their sales of sacha inchi to increase fivefold in 2015. Exports to the United States are estimated at US$ 500,000 annually.