To many consumers, honey is a natural and healthy alternative to sugar. It is also used as a food ingredient, for example in sweets or bakery products. Plus, beeswax is used in cosmetics such as lip balms. But because the bee population is decreasing globally, there aren’t sufficient honey supplies to meet European demand. Imports from developing countries, like Ethiopia, are growing.

Sri Lanka is a well-known tea supplier to the Netherlands. Sri Lankan tea is called Ceylon tea. Most of the current certification schemes for tea do not ensure sustainability of tea production in Sri Lanka. Plantation workers and farmers in cooperatives still do not earn a living wage to support their families. Also, soils continue to be depleted, leading to erosion and decreasing harvests. ProFound developed a truly sustainable value chain, which goes beyond these certifications.

Many cosmetic products used in Europe are based on biodiversity and inspired by traditional use of plants from local biodiversity of communities around the world, such as marula oil from South Africa. Bringing new ingredients with inspiring stories to the market can bring big benefits to South Africa, to the entrepreneurs marketing these ingredients in Europe, to workers in their factory and to communities supplying them with the raw materials.

Eaten in Europe and Asia since prehistoric times, pine nuts are still gaining popularity in modern Western cuisine. Due to growing world demand, pine nuts are more frequently collected unsustainably from the forests. Pine nuts are an important cash crop for communities in Pakistan. This means harvesting the pine forests sustainably is essential for the livelihoods of these families in these communities, in particular as these are harsh, dry areas with few other options for communities.

Popular products such as ice cream and lipstick contain gum, such as gum arabic. Areas in the Sahel region in Africa, where gum is collected, are under threat from erosion, drought and desertification. Incomes of collectors are low because they do not collect insufficient gums and of the wrong quality. The trees from which they collect are used for firewood or are damaged by grazing cattle. Their livelihoods are under direct threat! This leads to people making the difficult decision to leave their region or country to safeguard their lives.