THE BALANCE & DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
& SOCIAL FACTORS
Good Agricultural and Collection Practices
EcoSo's Commitment to GACP and sustainability
Sustainable harvesting and good processing techniques have always been of the highest priority to EcoSo Dynamics. Over the years EcoSo has managed to build an excellent procurement team, which has taken the lead and helped many rural communities to comply with sustainable harvesting practices. The effort has paid off since we are now proudly commercial partners with 19 registered Conservancies or conservation areas with a total of potentially 4436 registered harvesters of which 1365 women and 1231 men are active harvesters, producing close to 160t of sustainably harvested Devil’s Claw in the 2021 harvesting season.
A big extraction company in Europe has been of tremendous support in agreeing to sustainable price structures which allows us to pay a premium to our harvesters, suppliers and agents. Through this engagement, EcoSo has been able to build internal capacity to handle challenging situations.
As exporters and members of the Namibian Devil’s Claw Exporters Association Trust, it is our privilege to be part of the Namibian GACP+ Standard project:
The Namibian Devil's Claw GACP+ Standards
EcoSo Dynamics CC is an active supporter of the Namibian GACP+ Standard. EcoSo is a member of the Namibian Devil’s Claw Exporters Association Trust, which has pledged to support this project, ensuring that unsustainable harvesting will be eliminated and good processing practices will be applied throughout the country. The implementation of this Standard will happen partly in 2022 and will be fully implemented in 2023.
Through this, Namibian Exporters will be able to guarantee long term supply to their customers namely, EU importers. Sustainably harvested Devil’s Claw of high processing standards will be available at the required quantity of about 1000t per annum.
The project has been initiated and is financed by the BioInnovation Africa (BIA) program of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) through its executing arm the GIZ. Through NANCI (Namibian Network of the Cosmetics Industry) a competent and impartial organization has been found to manage and implement the project. Givaudan/Naturex probably the biggest EU importer of Devil’s Claw is also part of this project. As a commercial partner, Givaudan’s engagement and commitment to sustainable harvesting and good processing practices are one of the biggest contributors and key to the success of this project. Through their active support of the project and their social engagement with Kindergartens in the Zambezi Region of Namibia, the project stands on a strong foundation.
The final draft standard has been set up with the input of all stakeholders in the Namibian supply chain. This has happened through various stakeholder meetings. Further to this, a basic resource assessment has been carried out in some Devil’s Claw hotspots to demonstrate the necessity and unambiguous sense of the GACP+ standard in order to maintain Namibia’s leadership in the field of Devil’s Claw. It is assumed that Namibia produces about 95% of the world's Devil’s Claw and that the annual production can be between 600 and 1000t per annum.
The + in the Standard indicates that Devil’s Claw bought under this standard is ABS compliant. Namibia’s ABS regulation has been effected in 2021 and will be applied in 2022. The supply chain has until October 2022 to adapt to this new legislation, after which previously informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MAT) need to be complied with. The standard has been widely communicated to the Namibian Government where it gets support from the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT). MFT is also the competent authority for the ABS regulation. It is anticipated that the standard will be maintained and managed by the Namibian Standards Institute.
Through the project close to 100 participants have been trained in the theoretical application of the standard. About 60 participants have passed the test and are now called “Champions”. They will undergo another round of practical training after which they are qualified to provide training to harvesters and to make inspections in order to ensure that harvesters, suppliers, agents and exporters are compliant with the standard. The standard is voluntary, and it is our great hope that the industry will embrace this opportunity to support sustainable harvesting and good processing practices in Namibia.
Through this engagement, Namibia will maintain its leading role as the biggest supplier of Devil’s Claw Word Wide.