The Egyptian natural ingredients sector finds itself at a crossroads. On the one hand, increasing quality requirements in the health and cosmetics sector put pressure on producers to step up; adding value to their products through quality improvement processing, documentation and certification. On the other hand, the weak organisation of the sector and the lack of awareness of value addition opportunities and market trends limits innovation. Ground water and soil contamination with pesticides and plastics adds to their difficulties.

Within this context, ProFound natural ingredient consultant Robbie Hogervorst organised and facilitated a mission to Egypt for CBI in close coordination with CBIs partner organisation IPD. Aim of the mission was to identify companies with an interest in value addition and innovation, as well as to identify and bring together a range of stakeholders to tackle sector bottlenecks. Nine companies were visited producing a variety of herbs and spices, extracts and essential oils. The mission also included an acquisition workshop where almost 50 participants were informed about the CBI programme. The outcomes of the mission will be used in CBIs and IPDs strategy for their programmes to support the natural ingredients sector in Egypt.