The demand for sacha inchi – a plant that has been cultivated in the Amazon rainforest for the past 3,000 years – is soaring in natural beauty stores around the world. Its star-shaped fruit contains seeds which are much in demand due to their unique properties and benefits for the condition of hair and skin.
The popularity of natural products is on the rise. Countries in the Andean region – where the sacha inchi grows – can take advantage of their rich biodiversity to develop, market and export unique natural cosmetics.
This scenario is particularly favourable for Colombia, thanks to the country’s wide biodiversity. Already a known regional leader in the production of cosmetics, the country’s total revenue in the sector amounted to US$2.9bn in 2016. Cosmetics are the country’s fourth biggest export industry, with an average growth of 7% per year since 2010.
Unfortunately, Colombia is yet to take full advantage of its export capacity. Markets like Europe and China remain largely out of reach because Colombian products often fail to meet their regulatory standards.