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Overview and Evaluation of Certification Standards for Sustainable Production of Food and Cosmetic Oil from Native West African Trees

In: Afrika Focus
Authors:
Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen B4Trees, Møllevænget 23, Søvind, 8700 Horsens, Denmark, abn@b4trees.dk

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Kari-Anne Bjørnkjær-Nielsen B4Trees, Mollevanget 23, Sovind, 8700 Horsens, Denmark, karibjornkjaer@yahoo.dk

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Anne Mette Lykke Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, C. F. Møllers Allé 4, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark, Corresponding author aml@ecos.au.dk

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Abstract

A range of seed oils are sourced from West Africa. We present an overview of the certification standards for tree-based oil applied for food and cosmetics and an evaluation of sustainability gains. Certification standards were identified via the International Trade Centre’s listings and internet search, guided by interviews with certification bodies. Eleven certification standards were identified in 15 ecowas countries; five standards are applied in five or more countries, six in one to three countries. The largest numbers of standards were found in Ghana (nine) and Burkina Faso (seven), while five countries had none. The most widespread certification standards focused on organic production. In addition, two standards with a wide range of use were identified. The use of certification standards is still limited in West Africa, despite the fact that standards could promote high-value products and the attainment of sustainable-development goals.

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