We work with farmers and growers all over the world to source the best organic, practitioner grade herbs for our herbal creations. We always partner with those who are growing plants in a sustainable, organic way - protecting the environment, people and the wildlife around them.
That's why all ingredients we source for our herbal creations are certified organic. Everything we do from the fields where our herbs are grown, to the organic string we use on our tea bags has organic principles at the core.
'Best Practice Organic' builds on the foundations of organic farming but employs the very best farming techniques which sequester carbon, increase soil health and nurture biodiversity. Through our Best Practice Organic programme we provide financial support to farmers to employ best practices. It is focussed on areas which are critical for resilience: water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and soil health, farmer livelihoods, knowledge sharing and empowering the next generation.
Our vision is to maintain a truly sustainable organic value chain. This means working closely with our farmers and growers to find effective, natural, low-carbon ways to harvest sustainable, good quality yields in a changing climate and to pay fair and decent prices, creating sustainable livelihoods and supporting communities.
In this way we hope to improve people’s lives and build resilience in our supply chain to meet our increasing demand for herbs grown in ways that are beneficial to people, plants and the planet.
A whole host of challenges threaten the livelihoods of farmers and growers today. Climate change is affecting harvests, with natural disasters like droughts, fires and floods on the rise. Farmers are getting older and fewer younger generations are stepping in, seeking more secure income elsewhere.
By forming close, long-term partnerships with our organic farmers and growers, supported by third party certifications, we aim to maintain a supply chain that is not only beneficial for our planet, but that also provides a viable and sustainable way for farmers to make a living around the world.
We have identified ways to reduce our carbon impact and improve our climate resilience in the field. We are providing support to our farmers to implement best practice techniques through our community fair premiums and our Best Practice Organic Programme fund. Here is how some of these are being applied by our farmers and growers:
Babu Holagi grows Fair for Life certified organic field mint near Gadag, North Karnataka, India. It’s arid land, which makes it difficult to grow on. Due to lack of water, he can normally grow field mint on just one acre of his four-acre farm. Babu Holagi used a portion of the Fair for Life premium that comes from supplying Pukka to install a new drip irrigation system.
This is a very efficient method of watering as it’s buried in the ground to minimise evaporation. It has resulted in a 40% saving in water compared to the sprinklers he was using before. It means he’s been able to grow another 50% of organic mint with the same amount of water.
Abnormally heavy summer rains in Turkey during 2019 caused excess weeds to grow at the farms where we source some of our sweet fennel seed, leading to devastating crop loss. In response, we set up a three-year pilot project, working closely with the farmers in Turkey, to grow a crop of clover under their sweet fennel plants. This naturally prevents the weeds from germinating during wetter summers and improves soil health. We will be closely monitoring the results and exploring how to share successes with other farmers in the area.
Mrs Jenivarakoppalu grows Pukka’s Fair for Life organic turmeric in Karnataka, India. Our modelling revealed that this area is already at risk of soil erosion and by 2040, it will be at high risk of water scarcity. In 2019, Pukka Fair for Life premiums were used to plant 19,800 specific plant species - such as jackfruit, cinnamon trees, vanilla vines and roses -on farms across Karnataka. These plants reduce soil erosion, improve the soil’s ability to hold water, increase nutrient cycling and provide additional income for farmers like Mrs Jenivarakoppalu.
A group of farmers in India used our Pukka Life Impact Fund to build compost bins. Compost produced on farm is a great way to empower farmers to increase the organic matter content of their soil. This improves both water and nutrient-holding capacity as well as improving soil structure – all essential qualities of productive and healthy organic soil.
You can read more in our latest Impact Report.
Marin Anastasov grew up in Bulgaria, where he was involved in sustainable herb collection and wild resources management. He studied agriculture and subsequently completed MSc in Organic farming at Aberdeen University. Marin joined Pukka Herbs as Sourcing manager and has since led the development of the value chain, balancing the demands of rapid business growth, ethical trade and environmental conservation.
25 years in organic food and farming
Marin is a Master Beekeeper and holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, which is the highest beekeeping qualification awarded in the UK. He has active involvement in British Beekeepers Association and runs training courses for furthering the craft of beekeeping.
Marin has two MSc. One in Food Science and Technology and another one in Organic Framing. They both support his work at Pukka when it comes to compliance to standards, farming, cultivation and sourcing of our herbs, as well as herb processing and tea and supplements manufacture.