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Conserving the Great Pied Hornbill

An iconic species of the forests of India’s Western Ghats, the Great Pied Hornbill is a bird that mates for life.

For the Great Pied Hornbill, trust and longevity are important: and they are to us, too, which is why we’re working to protect their nesting habitats through our FairWild programme.

Every year the female finds a large hollow in a tree in which to build her nest; when she’s ready to lay her eggs she seals herself in by building a wall of faeces and bark.

For the next four months she relies entirely on the male to feed her - and her chicks – by tirelessly flying back and forth feeding fruit through a small crack in the wall.

One of the only trees big enough to provide a suitable nesting site for the Great Pied Hornbill is the bibhitaki tree. It is also the source of one of Ayurveda’s most valued ingredients: bibhitaki fruit.

Unfortunately many of the most precious bibhitaki trees in the Western Ghats are under threat as they produce valuable timber and can be a tempting source of income for local landowners.

The fruit, which offers an alternative – and more sustainable – source of income, is rarely collected – mainly because the market is either too far away or the price is too low. This is where FairWild comes in.

By providing a reliable market and a premium price for the fruit, the local villagers are given a genuine incentive to protect these majestic bibhitaki trees.

A fair price for sustainably collected wild fruit is a win-win situation for all; the local people benefit, the bibhitaki trees are preserved, and we at Pukka can offer you the finest quality ingredients.

And let’s not forget the Great Pied Hornbill. This is a bird that spends its life collecting fruit and distributing seeds around the forest through its droppings. As such it is a central thread in the web of life within the forest ecosystem.

Keep the wild in you

Thank you for being part of this positive change, helping to protect wild plants and the animals and communities that rely on them by choosing to enjoy teas blended with incredible FairWild herbs.

You can also explore ongoing issues through the official FairWild website and stay connected to where the ingredients in products you buy come from. If you’re not sure, ask your supermarket, local shop or favourite brand.

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Author: Georgia Phillips

Herbal Mission Lead

In her role at Pukka, Georgia is responsible for bringing Pukka’s purpose and mission to life across the business, ensuring that everything Pukka does nurtures healthier, happier lives through powerful organic plants. She leads the Mission team who deliver Pukka’s Impact Strategy, ensuring that Pukka achieves the social and environmental impact it seeks by being a business as a force for good.

Years of experience:

4 years at pukka


Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, B.Sc. in Anthropology, and an M.Sc. in Management.

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