In this paper we describe the outcomes of a 10-year project that provided an alternative source of material for the international trade in bulbous plants from Turkey. In the mid 1980s the export of wild bulbs was extensive and was considered to be unsustainable. Building on the opportunities for propagation of snowdrops (Galanthus spp.), this project produced bulbs for trade, taking into account provision of local livelihoods and income generation, utilization of existing trade structures, regulation through national legislation, monitoring of overseas suppliers, and customer sensitization. Three villages and over 250 villagers were ultimately involved in bulb propagation. The project demonstrated that bulbs for an international market can be produced within a village environment to meet CITES criteria for artificial propagation. Through the application of rural development, local horticultural training, international legislation, fair-trade, and environmental consumer issues the project also illustrates the complexities of integrated approaches to trade issues. This paper presents in detail the methods used in developing this model for local plant propagation, and highlights the lessons learnt from the project.