Did you encounter any barriers in building your bamboo business?
“MOSO started by trying to find companies in bamboo-producing countries to trade with, but encountered several problems.” René Zaal sums up: “First of all, we found that a business that works in one country does not work exactly the same in another – not just in terms of business operations and management, but also in terms of marketing and customer demands. Besides that, different countries can have different product preferences, traditions, standards and regulations. Finally, there are more than 1600 different bamboo species, not all of which can be used for the same products! This means that, for example, even though China has been using bamboo for diverse products and for centuries, their knowledge and technologies cannot directly be transferred to another country.
Additionally, to transfer technologies and knowledge abroad, businesses need to know what type of local resources are there, but also how these can be managed and utilised depending on the local infrastructure. On a community level, there is also a lack of education on the multiple usages of bamboo. In many developing countries, people view bamboo “as the poor man’s timber”. A local lack of processing or building knowledge leads to fast degradation of bamboo products.”