During fiscal 2010, $572,663, or 4.0%, of NTIC's consolidated net sales were derived from sales of Natur-Tec ® products compared to 6.3% during fiscal 2009. Net sales of Natur-Tec ® products increased 6.3% during fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2009. This increase was due to the addition of new Natur-Tec ® distributors on the West Coast of the United States partially offset by several large stocking orders of Natur-Tec ® products that occurred early in fiscal 2009 that were not repeat orders. NTIC is continuing to fortify and expand its West Coast distribution network in California, while expanding its industrial distribution reach to geographical "green" hotspots such as Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and New England. Additionally, NTIC is targeting key national and regional retailers utilizing independent sales agents.Cost of goods sold as a percentage of net sales decreased to 65.2% during fiscal 2010 compared to 65.5% during fiscal 2009 primarily as a result slightly improved margins resulting from fixed costs spread over increased net sales partially offset by a $360,577 write-down of Natur-Tec ® inventory to its market value during fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. NTIC participates in 27 active joint venture arrangements in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. NTIC only consolidates the proportional equity results of its joint ventures. NTIC's equity in income of joint ventures increased 967.2% to $3,919,084 during fiscal 2010 compared to $367,238 during fiscal 2009. NTIC recognized a 38.8% increase in fees for services provided to joint ventures during fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2009. Both of these increases were primarily a result of a 37.3% increase in total net sales of NTIC's joint ventures during fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2009. Total sales of NTIC's joint ventures increased 37.3% during fiscal 2010 to $84,973,646 compared to $61,895,133 in fiscal 2009. This increase in total net sales of NTIC's unconsolidated joint ventures was primarily a result of the economic recovery, to some extent, of the international manufacturing sector that the NTIC joint venture network serves.