Sa Pa Essentials is a new Vietnamese company that was established through the
Medicinal Plants Innovation Project that ran from 2002 – 2006 and was funded by
the NZAID ADAF facility. Operating in the northern mountainous region of
Vietnam, the project goal was the “sustainable development of high value
natural products based on medicinal plant species of conservation value in
Vietnam, emphasising participation of local ethnic minority communities.”
This innovative project had a dual aim to improve the livelihoods of
marginalised ethnic minority farmers in Sa Pa through income generation
activities while at the same time promote the conservation of rare and
endangered plant species.
Sa Pa Essentials was established with the specific purpose of supporting the Sa Pa Indigenous Medicinal Plants Association (SIMPA), a local cooperative comprised of largely ethnic minority farmers who organically propagate, cultivate and semi-process local medicinal plants to develop new products. SPE supports the local farmers in their activities and subsequently purchases the products developed by SIMPA at ‘fair trade’ prices thus guaranteeing a fair and equitable income for SIMPA members. SPE uses these semi-processed products to further develop entirely novel natural products (e.g. balms, soaps, pure essential oils etc) which are marketed based on the traditional knowledge ‘story’ of the different local ethnic minorities. Through this marketing strategy, royalties are paid back to SIMPA on each product sold with money placed into a community social and conservation fund that is managed by SIMPA for the benefit of the local community. All intellectual property rights associated with the traditional use behind these products are maintained by the farmers association, SIMPA.
Medicinal plant species that are currently being developed and researched by SPE include Elsholtzia penduliflora and Elsholtzia blanda (essential oils), Stephania brachyandra and Acanthopanax trifoliatus (herbal extracts).
SPE works in close partnership with several other organisations: SIMPA (local farmers association), Forest Herbs Research, NZ (international natural products business) and the Centre for Community Empowerment (national capacity building NGO).
For more information you may want to contact:
Do Thi Thu Ha
Sa Pa Essentials Ltd
Tel: +84 20 871918
Mob: +84 913 240 640