Marketing Neglected and Underutilized Species
Biodiversity, food security, nutrition, health, economic development – all these topics are high on the agenda of numerous organisations around the world and are the goals of global campaigns, initiatives, task forces and research projects. And they all have one thing in common: they are all concerned with the products we gain from agricultural cultivation, the business we create out of it, and the way we consume them.
Yet still today, food security is not yet a given, biodiversity is regressing, people in developing countries don’t have access to sufficient nutrition, and populations in industrialised countries suffer from diseases caused by excessive consumption of certain foods. And this is all interlinked. It has all been mentioned before. It’s not new. But we need to think about it again.
There are an estimated 400,000 plant species on this planet. Over 20,000 species are edible. 150 species are commercialised. But only 3 crops are used to meet 50% of the daily worldwide calorie demand: maize, wheat and rice. 95% of our demand is met by only 30 species.