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On the Wild Side

Landscape with mountains

It’s FairWild Week and we’re celebrating wild plants!

Did you know that wild plants are important ingredients in your food, cosmetics, medicine, and especially close to our hearts – tea? As the demand for natural products continues to grow, the demand for these wild plant ingredients also grows, putting pressure on potentially fragile plant populations and ecosystems. We’ve partnered with our friends at FairWild Foundation for FairWild Week, June 24-28, to celebrate wild plants and help bring attention to the importance of protecting these plants.

Join us this FairWild Week by getting to know the wild plants in your cupboard and learning what you can do to help protect them.

What is FairWild?

FairWild is about protecting plants from overharvesting, like the respiratory-health-promoting and soothing licorice that is found in our Throat Coat tea.*

We source wild collected licorice rather than farmed because we’ve found it to reliably meet our high quality standards. By purchasing FairWild licorice, we are also able to ensure it is ethically harvested without harming the wild populations our ecosystems depend on.

FairWild is about protecting people and livelihoods, like Plema, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who collects elderflower (Sambucus nigra) and linden flower (Tilia spp.) for our teas.

Plema is proud to be a medicinal plant collector and depends on her income from collecting to support her family most of the year. We purchase FairWild herbs to help support harvesters like Plema with fair wages and investment in community projects.

Elder flowers. Elderberry blossom.
Image of Plema

FairWild is about conservation, like protecting important habitat for wildlife that depend on healthy ecosystems for their survival.

Sustainable wild collection of herbs, like the raspberry leaf used in our Pregnancy Tea, Raspberry Leaf, and Healthy Cycle formulas, can help support diverse ecosystems. Using sustainable harvesting practices protects the biodiversity of the region, allowing plant, people and animal communities to thrive.

What You Can Do

Use your purchasing power to help support wild plants!

Look for the logo: Look out for the FairWild Certification on your favorite teas, foods and wellness products.

Know the at-risk plants: Get to know the plants that are the most likely to be at risk of over-harvesting and look for the FairWild label when purchasing products with these ingredients. Check the Wild Dozen list for key species to look for!

Spread the word: Follow FairWild on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Share why you care about wild plants and tag photos of wild plant products you’re using with #ifoundWild and #FairWildWeek

And most importantly, ask questions! Demand more from the companies you buy from and question the sourcing of the ingredients in your favorite products.

More about FairWild

Plants are at the heart of what FairWild does. But it’s not just the plants that are at risk, it’s people too. Collectors of these wild plants often belong to marginalized rural communities that depend on them for their livelihoods. At the bottom of a long supply chain, these harvesters have historically received the smallest benefit from a rapidly growing industry and its high demand for wild plants.

On average 75% of all herbs in trade are collected from the wild

Traditional Medicinals is proud to have supported FairWild from the beginning. While Fair Trade, B Corp and other certification programs and labels exist to demonstrate accountability and conscious business practices, none of these address the collection of wild plants and its unique impact on the environment and communities. The FairWild Foundation was created in 2008 to address this gap. Its FairWild Standard and Certification were designed to improve the sustainable use and management of wild plants and protect harvesters from unfair business practices. The FairWild Standard provides guidance on best practices for those harvesting and trading wild plant resources, including how to maintain healthy plant populations, respect customary rights and traditions, promote fair relationships between the industry and collectors, ensure fair working conditions, and more. This Standard then provides the basis for the FairWild certification. The FairWild logo on certified products allows you to know that your favorite products are being made with ingredients that were harvested ethically and fairly.

Purchase products with FairWild ingredients to help ensure the long-term survival of wild plants, the ecosystems they’re a part of, the traditions and cultures that surround them, and the livelihoods of the people that depend on them.

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