Our Suppliers: Visit to our FairWild and organic suppliers in Poland

Thursday 11 June 2015

Our Standards Co-ordinator Matt Richards spent the first few days of June visiting our FairWild and organic suppliers in Poland - in fantastic sunny weather!
Matt said:

“Our trip to North East Poland focused on another of our FairWild suppliers – where herbs are sustainably wild harvested on the fringes of a UNESCO World Heritage designated forest. We went to meet collectors and processors of many of the FW herbs that we buy, providing us with an opportunity to find out how the current harvests are going. We also wanted to see how the quality of the herbs is maintained and see first-hand the social benefits of FW certification.

We are moving to the end of the Elderflower harvest for collectors in Eastern Europe, and so it has been a busy time making the most of the dry spells for harvesting. We met Basyl (see picture above) who is a collector and passionate about herb collection. He and his community of collectors have benefitted from the FW premium by being able to purchase collection equipment such as gloves, harvest bags and hand tools. This makes their job easier and helps provide better treatment of the herbs to assist in product quality. The community are now considering supporting a community sports club with the premium.

The herbs are sometimes dried by the collectors, and sometimes taken to a larger drying facility. It is essential that the drying happens at the right temperature, and as soon after harvest as possible to maintain the properties of the herbs.”