Contributions to CITES discussions on orchid derivatives in 'finished products'
One of our members is working on a project relating to the proposed exemption from CITES of 'finished products' containing orchids, which is being prepared to inform discussions of a working group on this issue. Please see below a description of the project and list of questions. If you can help, please respond to them directly.
I am working on a project with my colleague, Catherine Rutherford, as part of the remit of a Working Group (WG) under the Plants Committee (PC) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - CITES www.cites.org). This WG is made up of government and scientific representatives who are looking into the use of orchids in personal care, cosmetic, fragrance and food products with a view to removing finished products packaged and ready for retail trade from the permit requirements under CITES. All orchids are regulated under CITES so in theory creams, lotions, etc containing orchids require a CITES permit when they travel over international borders.
Read the following documents to understand the origin of this project and where we are heading with the work:
PC22 Doc.221. and Annex - https://cites.org/eng/com/pc/22/index.php
PC19 Inf. Doc 9 (at the bottom of the page) this was a similar project we worked on for another CITES species which shows the sort of information we need to make decisions and how IFRA and other fragrance companies were involved - https://cites.org/eng/com/pc/19/index.shtml
To start the project, I am working with Catherine on two orchid case studies -
(blue orchid) and Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens (also known as C.pubescens or C.calceolus var. pubescens).
Below are a few questions on these species that we would be most grateful if you could help answer or at least point us in the right direction. We have the CITES Trade Data but we are also interested in in-country production, values and chain of custody AND any contacts who could help supply this information if you cannot answer the questions:
1. Do you have information/data/statistics on the artificial propagation of these species either in the range States or elsewhere worldwide? If possible please provide information on which production type is being employed (e.g. tissue culture, potted plants, growing plants for cut flowers), main centres of production and, if available, the production levels (in tons, live plants,etc)? Do you have any information on the monetary value of this trade? The names of main producing and extracting nurseries/companies would be helpful as would any info on whether these species are being grown for extraction of essential oils or other derivatives for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
2. Do you have any information/data/statistics on the illegal trade in these species? Information, reports you can point us to, or contact details of people/agencies dealing with the illegal trade in the range States and along the supply chain would be helpful.
3. Do you have any contacts in the range States that can help answer these questions or are you the main contact on these species in those countries?
It is interesting to note that when you look at the CITES trade data for Vanda coerulea it appears to be exported from Thailand and China as "derivatives" and then goes to France and Switzerland and then on to Japan and Turkey in the main. We have tracked many cosmetic products with this species listed as an ingredient but any knowledge of this species use in Turkey and Japan would be very interesting.
Thank you for your assistance. We will be completing further case studies in the New Year 2017 so may be back in touch. Please send any information or comments directly to my email madcgroves(at)gmail.com The outcome of all these case studies will be presented to the next Plants Committee meeting (July/Aug 2017, Geneva) so your assistance is directly helping form CITES policy and you can see the full report then.