Wild grown plants have been used for millennia in medicines, foods, textiles and cosmetics
Over 60,000 are used in medicines alone and the vast majority of these are collected from the wild. As the trade in these has increased – largely driven by consumer demand – more and more of these plants have come under threat because they are harvested at an unsustainable level or because of habitat loss. Today 20% of the planet’s wild plant species are estimated to be at risk of extinction.
In addition to these plants’ importance from an ingredient perspective they also form a crucial part of our tradition and history, and in many countries are an important source of income for communities who often do not own their own land - typically the poorest and most marginalised in society.
Organic Herb Trading has been at the forefront of protecting wild plant species and their collectors for more than 20 years. Mike Brook – our Founding Director – was a founding member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade, and Organic Herb Trading is also a founder member of FairWild. In September 2014 we reinforced this commitment by becoming the UK’s first processor and distributor of FairWild certified herbs and spices.
The scheme – which was established by leading conservation and development organisations - not only ensures plants are collected at a sustainable level, it also ensure the workers are paid fairly and treated with respect.
Currently, Organic Herb Trading holds in stock: Nettle, Limeflower, Liquorice, Elderflower, Lemon balm, Hawthorn flowering tops, Hawthorn berry, Dandelion leaf and Raspberry leaf. In addition to FairWild certification all these ingredients are also certified as organic by the Soil Association.
We believe that FairWild ingredients will play an increasingly important role within ethical supply chains in the future. And with prominent brands like Neal’s Yard, Pukka Herbs, Traditional Medicinals and London & Scottish already selling products that carry the FairWild logo, consumer awareness will grow and demand will inevitably increase.
More information about FairWild can be found at - http://www.fairwild.org/