So medicinal plants will be around for generations to come.We love the fact that more and more people are interested in herbs and natural approaches to wellness. Unfortunately, though, intense consumer interest in an herb can put pressure on that species, and without safeguards to ensure sustainable ecosystem management and fair trade prices for the local harvesters and stewards, ecosystems can be harmed and the future of the plant species can be seriously impacted.
For this reason, we support sustainable wild collection practices and work closely with our herb suppliers to implement sustainable methods for all of our wild-collected herbs.
Beyond our own policies, we also support a number of initiatives and organizations working to preserve precious plant resources or to develop and implement ecological and social sustainability standards for medicinal and aromatic plant harvesting. Some of these initiatives are described below.
Giant Panda Friendly Products Standard
Since 2008, we have supported a project for the sustainable wild collection of medicinal plants by villagers surrounding the Giant Panda Habitat. We made a long-term commitment for supply of certified organic wild-harvested schisandra berries through a cooperative with members in 22 villages. And, in 2011 we participated in an inaugural workshop to develop a Giant Panda Friendly Products Practice Standard.
The “Kangmei Institute of Community Development and Marketing” in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-China) are working to establish the Panda Friendly Standard which our schisandra berries will eventually be certified against. Giant Panda Friendly products are defined as those that bring no evident harm to the wild Giant Panda populations and their habitats, contribute directly to the livelihoods of the communities in the areas where Giant Pandas live, and motivate the communities to continue livelihood activities that are beneficial to the Giant Panda’s survival and development.
Learn more about the Panda Friendly Project.
IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Medicinal Plants Specialist Group (MPSG)
We participate in the membership of the Medicinal Plants Specialist Group (MPSG) of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). MPSG is a global network of specialists contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants.
Learn more about the IUCN SSC MPSG.
United Plant Savers (UpS)
We are a corporate member of the United Plant Savers (Ups) The UpS mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.
Learn more about UpS.
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Wild-crop Harvesting Practice Standard
Many of the medicinal plant species used in our products are traditionally wild harvested by local, rural or indigenous communities and are not grown on farms. Ever since the passage of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations in 2000, which allowed for wild-crops to become certified organic if produced according to an organic system plan, we have been working with our producers and suppliers to implement the standard. Today nearly 100% of our wild-harvested ingredients are NOP certified organic.
Learn more about the USDA NOP Wild-crop Harvesting Practice Standard.