Supporting Peru natural product exporters enter U.S. market
Peru's exports to the United States of natural products, such as herbal remedies and cosmetics, may be flourishing, but exporters need to be more aware of import rules and sales‟ regulations to take full advantage of the huge potential of the U.S. market.
Despite the fact that sales to the United States have more than doubled to over $54 million in the past fours years, many of Peru‟s best-known natural products, including cat‟s claw and maca root, still run into trouble with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal bodies over issues such as labelling and medicinal claims.
At a seminar on Monday, September 26, in Lima, the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC), together with its partners in a Peruvian export initiative, will offer ways to avoid the costly pitfalls to exporting and marketing finished natural products to the United States.
Among other things, exporters will learn to distinguish between “acceptable” and “non-acceptable” claim statements and the levels of scientific evidence required.
“The ITC‟s mission here is to enable Peruvian small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to sustain export development growth,” said ITC‟s Director of the Division of Market Development, Anders Aeroe.
“With our partners, we are showing exporters of natural products how to meet the tough entry requirements to the U.S. market, which is one of the world‟s most lucrative,” he added.
“Due to market trends, the Peru's Export and Tourism Promotion Board - Promperú, has implemented the Biotrade Area with the purpose of promoting the companies that practice sustainable businesses. Last year, exports of biodiversity products reached US$ 318 million, showing opportunities for companies that follow a market opening strategy by prioritizing the niche market search for differenced products, through different certifications schemes such as organic or fair trade as well”, said Jose Quiñones, Deputy Director of Trade Promotion from Promperú.
In recent years, a number of Peruvian natural products have been rejected for import, faced nationwide recalls or even U.S. lawsuits because the product labelling and/or website content made claims about healing powers that had not been approved by the FDA.
The „U.S. Market for Natural Products‟ seminar is delivered by ITC‟s Trade, Climate Change and Environment Programme and funded by the Government of Denmark. ITC is partnered by Promperú, the state export promotion agency, and the German development organization GIZ in organizing this event.
The natural products sector is a significant generator of employment and helps make an economic case for preserving the Amazonian rainforest, from where many of these products are collected by rural and indigenous people.