Illegal Trading Of Orchids Made Possible By Online Shops And Social Media

We often hear in the news about the illegal trafficking of animals but we rarely hear about plants when it is a more common victim compared to wildlife. This is hurting the legal suppliers of Thailand orchids wholesale because illegally traded orchids are far cheaper. Out of the 35,000 species that is under the protection of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora or CITEs, 30,000 are actually plants.

Orchids are a common victim of illegal trafficking because they are jaw-dropping beautiful and they are very in demand. There are almost 30,000 species of orchids and it comprised around 10 per cent of all plant species on the planet but it is over 70 per cent of all the species under CITES.

According to Oxford Martin Programme’s research associate, Amy Hinsley, orchid dominates the convention. Lately, she published a report regarding the internet’s effect on the trade of orchids. It has both a negative and a positive effect. For instance, because of the internet it is easier to monitor illegal trafficking of orchids. Before the internet, researches must attend orchid shows to know about the species being traded.

With an online platform, Hinsley was able to go to specific websites and look at the orchids for sale posts. She was able to observe the communications between the buyers and the sellers on the site. On the other hand, the internet is also the reason why there is an increase in the number of illegal trading of orchids. Online transactions made things easier especially in the international market.

Traffickers now have technologies which they can use to easily communicate while at the same time avoid being detected for the illegal activities. Hinsley revealed that she was able to locate illegally traded orchids for sale on e-commerce sites such as eBay as well as social media channels. This presented a big threat to legal suppliers of Thailand orchids wholesale because consumers are more likely to patronize products that they can get at a cheaper price. This also concerns experts in the orchid industry because illegal harvesting could lead to the extinction of certain species.