Here's to a beautiful FairWild world
The global concern
Around 30,000 of Mother Nature’s plant species are used for consumables and wellbeing products.
Between 60 - 90% of those plants used in global trading are wild collected, with the value of global trade in medicinal or aromatic plants valued at $3bn in 2015.
With one in five wild plant species under threat from over-harvesting and habitat loss, the need for change has never been greater. As consumers, we globally know surprisingly little about where the ingredients in our products come from.
There is also little in the way of industry-wide standards and regulations when it comes to wild-harvested ingredients.
What can be done?
The FairWild Foundation was established to provide best practice guidelines and certification schemes for harvesters, operators and producers involved in the trade in wild plant ingredients.
The FairWild certification is about protecting the magic of wild plant species and the beauty of their natural habitats, whilst respecting deeply rooted traditions and cultures and helping support the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them.
Did you know that our brand Pukka is certified FairWild and has a great range of FairWild teas? FairWild certification helps protect wild plant species and the beauty of their natural habitats.
Not only do we want to be leaders in sustainable wild harvesting, we want the whole herbal community to adopt this respectful approach.
Under the FairWild certification, a collector is required to leave enough of the plant in the ground, to allow it to grow again the following year.
The collectors are also incentivized by FairWild to leave some of the population untouched, allowing the remaining plants to mature and naturally regenerate.
To reflect and respect the extra effort and time that FairWild sustainable herb collection requires, individual FairWild collectors are paid a premium price.
We also pay an additional amount - known as the FairWild premium – to the collectors’ cooperative, to be spent on social and environmental projects for the local community.
Don’t just take our word for it, here is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talking about our FairWild project in India.
In 2000, soon after the conflict in Bosnia ended, we established a FairWild project in Konjic near Sarajevo to help create sustainable income for those who had lost their livelihoods during the war.
Today, over 700 families are employed to collect a wide range of wild herbs from the area, including limeflower, dandelions, nettle, and elderflower for our Love tea. This project ensures that collectors are paid fairly for their work, and importantly, that there is no discrimination between ethnic groups.
Author: Marin Anastasov
Head of Procurement
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.
Years of experience:
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 manufacture.