The FairWild Foundation are an international organisation that aim to provide a worldwide framework for implementing a sustainable, fair and value-added management and trading system for wild-collected natural ingredients and products. FairWild is a certification programme that combines principles of fair trade and sustainable wild collection. The purpose, as described in the FairWild guidelines, is:
“To ensure the continued use and long-term survival of wild plant species and populations in their habitats, while respecting the traditions and cultures, and supporting the livelihoods of all stakeholders, in particular collectors and workers.”
To obtain FairWild certification, collectors, who may traditionally have uprooted an entire plant, will now be required to leave some of the root in the ground so that it can grow again the following year. Collectors who would normally have harvested 100% of the herbs in a given area, may also be required to leave 30-40% of the population untouched so that the seed can mature and naturally regenerate. Collecting from unspecified areas will also be ruled-out under the FairWild agreement. All plants will be harvested from pre-determined collection sites in which detailed studies (resource inventories, yield estimates and regeneration studies) have been carried out.
To reflect the extra time and effort required to harvest the plants in a sustainable manner the individual collectors are paid a premium price (5-10% above the normal cost) (in addition to the FairWild premium that is given to the cooperative; about 10% on the purchase price) providing them with a strong incentive to preserve plant populations. In this way FairWild certification can transform a potentially destructive activity into a powerful tool for conservation. This is a really exciting initiative for us at Pukka, as it gives us and our customers an opportunity to strengthen our support for herb collectors and the environments in which they live, simply by continuing to produce, blend, eat and drink wonderful herbs!. We source FairWild Licorice, Elderflowers, Limeflowers and Nettles from Khazakstan, Spain, Bulgaria and Croatia.