As the European Union is about to regulate the access to genetic resources, the latest edition of the UEBT annual barometer shows that while consumer expectations are high on this issue, many cosmetic brands are still struggling to provide accurate answers.
Conducted in February 2014, some 7,000 consumers in Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, France, UK, USA and Vietnam participated in the survey.
Consumers’ growing appetite for natural and ethical products
In 2014, 87% of consumers surveyed say they buy cosmetic products that use natural ingredients. In Brazil this number is 96%, in the UK 72%. Consumers are increasingly looking for transparency: 77% say they pay attention to where ingredients in cosmetics products come from. In Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam almost 90% of consumers say they pay attention to the origin.
A large majority (87%) of the surveyed consumers expects companies to have sourcing policies in place that respect biodiversity. In Colombia and Brazil the large majority even think this is essential, in comparison to an average 34% in France, Germany and the UK.
Further, the report suggests that more than 85% of surveyed consumers want companies to provide more information on the concrete actions they are taking to respect biodiversity in their sourcing policies.
High sensitivity in emerging markets
The 2014 Biodiversity Barometer also confirmed that biodiversity awareness is particularly high in emerging markets. More than 90% of respondents in Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam and China have heard about biodiversity, with 49% of respondents able to correctly define biodiversity, twice the number of that in developed countries.
“Consumers in emerging markets show a good understanding of biodiversity and a high interest in ethical sourcing. With market growth increasingly realized in these countries, these findings are of strategic importance for companies investing in emerging markets,” says UEBT Executive Director Rik Kutsch Lojenga.
However, while the 2014 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer finds that biodiversity awareness has increased since 2009, it also reveals growth in understanding of biodiversity has slowed down since 2012.
“84% of respondents say it is important to personally contribute to conserving biodiversity. This highlights the importance placed on biodiversity and provides us with a tremendous opportunity to work together to conserve and use biodiversity sustainably and in a fair and equitable way and address the biodiversity loss and its benefits to society,” says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary.