Advocacy and the Climate Crisis
Jane Franch of Numi Tea talks about Numi's climate plan and why it is critical that companies advocate against carbon emissions to address the climate emergency.
Jane Franch of Numi Tea talks about Numi's climate plan and why it is critical that companies advocate against carbon emissions to address the climate emergency.
In this webinar, Jane Franch of Numi Organic Tea and Kayalin Akens-Irby of Planet FWD discuss the importance of getting accurate data on carbon emissions as a foundation for taking action to reduce those emissions.
Anne Biklé and David Montgomery’s books on soil health connect the dots between the health of the soil, the chemistry of the crops grown in that soil, and the health of our bodies. Read highlights from the SHP Webinar about their most recent book, What Your Food Ate.
A joint SHP-TRAFFIC webinar to introduce the ground-breaking new report by TRAFFIC, FAO, and IUCN SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group, entitled WildCheck: Assessing risks and opportunities of trade in wild plant ingredients.
Women Leading Regeneration gathers women leaders from around the world for a 2-day online summit. SHP Director Ann Armbrecht speaks with the event organizers about the vision and purpose of this event.
Of all the many things we do and do not do each day, what are the things that might add up to something that matters? Given the turmoil in the world right now, given the demands calling from every direction for our attention, how do any of us know, really, what we can do that might make the difference that is needed?
The Social Good team at Traditional Medicinals (TM) organized a 3-month book club to discuss the themes explored in SHP Director, Ann Armbrecht’s book, The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry. Ann spoke with Hannah Scott, Impact Communications Manager at Traditional Medicinals Fo...
A recording of Ann Armbrecht's recent conversation with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar for the Oakmont Sunday Symposium.
This SHP webinar explores the unique partnership of Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils, a Western Australian based sandalwood oil distillation company backed by Dutkahn Custodians, Kutubbubba Aboriginal Corporation, and the founders of WA Sandalwood Plantations (WASP) in Australia.
Listen to the Sustainable Herbs Program webinars on audio! Find out about the new SHP podcast.
What are the side effects of business? What are the less visible positive effects of certifications? Key points from the FairWild Week Webinar: 'Wild Plants are Our Business' co-hosted by Sustainable Herbs Program, TRAFFIC, and the FairWild Foundation.
Select clips from the SHP webinar, co-hosted with the FairWild Foundation, on what makes fair trade fair and how certification helps.
Highlights from the webinar, Herbal Tea Sourcing with Respect, co-hosted by the Sustainable Herbs Program and UEBT.
When you read the word “organic” on any product, it’s a boost of confidence. It tells you that you’re not only buying one of the better options, but that you’re supporting a more sustainable system which puts quality over profit. But what if that wasn’t always true? The following is an excerpt from The Business of Botan...
The promise of herbal medicine is that it is better for us and for the earth. Is that really the case? What is holistic herbal medicine?
What insights do stories of indigenous practices have for an industry rooted in the buying and selling of medicinal plants from around the world? Highlights from the SHP Ethnobotany Webinar with Nancy Turner and Leigh Joseph (Styawat).
Brian Zapp, of Applied Food Sciences, and Andrea Zangara, of Euromed talk about why investing in quality and sustainability makes good business sense.
What is the role of leadership in a mission-driven botanical company? What does it take to create and nurture a culture of sustainability and regeneration within that company? What role does a strong and clear vision and mission play? How do certifications fit in?
A conversation with ethnobotanist Claudia Ford about her research into the uses of medicinal plants by African slaves in the American South during the 1800s and the implications of this research for the decolonization of herbalism.
SHP Director, Ann Armbrecht spoke with SHP Inaugural Underwriters, Loren Israelsen, President, United Natural Products Alliance, Angela McElwee, President and CEO of Gaia Herbs, and Ajay Patel, Founder and CEO of Verdure Sciences about the challenges the botanical industry is facing because of COVID and steps companies can take to ensure ...
In this webinar, SHP Director Ann Armbrecht will speak with Brian Zapp, Creative Director at Applied Food Sciences, and Andrea Zangara, Scientific Marketing Manager at Euromed, two companies that are Inaugural Underwriters of SHP, about why investing in sustainability is essential to sourcing high quality botanicals.
Sustainable Herbs Program DIrector, Ann Armbrecht reviews Kiss the Ground, a new movie celebrating the potential of regenerative agriculture.
Tieraona Low Dog, MD is a physician, author, educator and thought leader in integrative medicine. She speaks with SHP Director, Ann Armbrecht about what young people can do to care for themselves and their communities, physically and emotionally, during this time.
The disruptions caused by COVID-19, challenging as they are, offer an opportunity to address these underlying environmental and ethical issues. In this conversation, industry leaders will discuss the particular challenges the botanical industry is facing in terms of supply and sourcing and specific steps companies can take to ensure susta...
SHP has recently made a commitment to The J.E.D.I. Collaborative (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) to work on addressing economic and racial inequities in our work and in the botanical industry as a whole. This post is a section from the SHP Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit and provides resources for companies ready...
Summer Singletary, Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist, focuses on content and social media marketing for natural products companies. I spoke with Summer about her approach and any advice she has for approaching marketing with a mission.
Exciting efforts are underway to use forest farming as a practice to develop sustainable and ethical supply networks of forest botanicals from Appalachia. Sign the Forest Botanicals Company Pledge to show your support!
"Think of the difference of looking at a black cohosh in a plastic container on a shelf in a store and coming upon black cohosh with its fairy wand of tiny white flowers growing in an Appalachian forest," Erica Marks, Director of Yew Mountain Center says. "t’s really hard to replicate the feeling you have coming upon black cohosh in tha...
A new SHP video celebrating the interdependence of humans and the earth.
AUSTIN, Texas (April 21, 2020) — During the week observing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the nonprofit Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) announces the publication of The SHP Sustainability & Regenerative Practices Toolkit.
As COVID-19 has made starkly clear, we are all interconnected. And as communities around the world rush to flatten the curve, we see more starkly than ever the ways our individual behavior impacts the whole. As demand for herbal products spikes, what can we do to help ensure that botanical ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced...
Can the recent cancellation of Expo West be an opportunity for the natural products industry to show the ways it is committed not just to the wellness of consumers and their company’s bottom line but to the wellness of the earth on which we all depend?
In this 10-minute video, wild harvesters and others from Appalachia talk about the tradition of harvesting forest botanicals, how that tradition is being lost, and efforts to revitalize practices that steward medicinal plants from the forest.
The second in our series documenting one company's journey to a 'low waste' booth at Expo West. Listening to their discussion inspired me to think about how I can apply that process in my own work and community. Which also is Herb Pharm's hope with their booth.
As part of the Sustainable Herbs Program efforts to highlight innovative approaches to tackling sustainability challenges in the industry, Ann Armbrecht spoke with Andrea Zangara, Scientific Marketing Manager at Euromed, an ingredient supplier in Barcelona, Spain, about upcycling residue from extracting saw palmetto fruit.
Nine takeaways from a special introductory webinar for botanical companies on creating a collaborative industry pathway to reversing climate change organized by SHP, AHPA, and Climate Collaborative.
The first of a series of posts exploring Herb Pharm's decision making process to reduce the environmental impact of their presence at Expo West. We hope this conversation can inspire the natural products industry to think seriously and creatively about reducing the environmental impact of trade shows.
The Mountain Rose Herbs (MRH) Zero Waste program is an impressive combination of leadership, innovation, and perseverance. I spoke with Alyssa Bascue, Director of Sustainability, about the certification process, the challenges, and the lessons they have learned.
David Hircock, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Global Communications, Estée Lauder Companies, writes about three major UN and International Awards given to longterm partners of Estée Lauder Companies for their work in sustainability and human rights.
Is oshá at risk? To find out, Kelly Kindscher and his team at the University of Kansas completed a five-year research study to evaluate the sustainability of current harvest practices of oshá in southeastern Colorado and to develop best practices to protect oshá from over collection.
A report from our recent filming trip documenting the supply of forest botanicals from Appalachia, an area facing a declining population of wild harvesters.
An overview of NSF's six-week online Sustainability Bootcamp that provides tools and resources to leading sustainability initiatives in the natural products industry.
Anastasiya Timoshyna, Senior Programme Co-ordinator for Sustainable Trade at TRAFFIC, discusses the role of FairWild in biodiversity conservation. Watch the video to find out more.
Botanist and potter, Zoe Gardner, talks about her experience navigating the worlds of science and spirit in creating pottery with plants.
Who harvests the wild plants in the products you purchase? Who processes those plants? Are they paid a fair wage? Do you know? Do the finished product companies know? In this short video, Josef Brinckmann talks about why it matters.
Josef Brinckmann, Research Fellow at Traditional Medicinals, outlines five steps for herbal products companies wishing to move toward regenerative and sustainable supply chains. “Just do something!” Josef says. “Just DO. Pick a plant. Be curious. ”
“FairWild: Today & Tomorrow”, a panel discussion at the BioFach trade show, brought together key stakeholders in the FairWild certification scheme to talk about the challenges and opportunities of presented by the standard.
"How do we create greener industries for the next generation? ... Let’s make a positive impact on climate change and help others strive for that too," Matt Dybala. Read more about Herb Pharm's participation in the Regenerative Organic Certification pilot program.
Tom Newmark discusses the Soil Carbon Initiative, an outcome-based, verifiable standard designed to improve soil health and build soil carbon by encouraging the shift to regenerative agricultural practices.
by Bethany Davis. If you care about food security, or the planet, or if you eat food then the message is clear. We have to rapidly refocus our efforts on saving the soil. In so doing, it turns out we can also save the planet and secure robust food systems for centuries to come.
Vicky Murray, Sustainability Manager at Pukka Herbs, discusses Pukka's public commitment to set a science-based carbon reduction target with the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). Below are her top tips on setting carbon targets for a company.
Josef Brinckmann of Traditional Medicinals talks about the importance of wildlife in implementing sustainable harvesting in the botanical industry.
In this 4-minute video, Josef Brinckmann of Traditional Medicinals, Ben Heron and Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs, and Jayent Sarnaik of AERF talk about FairWild as a strategy for protecting biodiversity conservation and promoting sustainable livelihoods for wild collectors.
Through the voices of villagers in the western Ghats of India, this 7-minute video documents the ways FairWild certification is supporting rural livelihoods.
I’m often asked what herb company people should buy from. I’ve been visiting herb companies for the past few years, so it’s a logical question to ask. But I find this question increasingly bothers me. I decided to tease out some of the reasons why. I came up with three.
Is Pukka Herbs Selling Out? What lessons can we all learn about impact, scale, and sustainability in Unilever's recent purchase of Pukka Herbs?
As Ann mentioned in her recent blog post, Where Are the Domestic Herbs?, 2 surveys were created to better understand the domestic herb market and the key issues involved from the perspectives of both growers and buyers. Thirty-one growers/farmers and 35 herbalists/practitioners responded…not a huge response, but enough to recognize seve...
Where are the Domestic Herbs? As part of the Sustainable Herbs Project, we are working to understand the supply chain of domestic herbs more fully. So far I’ve discovered it’s a lot more complicated than saying, simply, that locally grown herbs are always best. I’m trying to tease out the key issues involved from the perspectives of...
Randy Buresh, co-founder of Oregon’s Wild Harvest, became interested in traditional herbal medicine during his 20-year career as a registered surgical nurse. He noticed a pattern of unnecessary surgeries and pharmaceutical side effects and knew there had to be a better way. He started dabbling in herbs, making tinctures and studying Nat...
Ben Heron, Sustainable Herbs Manager for Pukka Herbs, oversees sourcing of key ingredients, ensuring that the methods of growing, harvesting, and processing the herbs meet Pukka’s quality and sustainability standards. SHP Intern Anita Burke edited the following from a Skyped conversation between Ann and Ben in October 2014.
I’ve created a list of our top 5 most popular interviews with leaders in the herb industry to make it easier to find them.
Anne de Courtenay generously included an extensive interview with me about our work following herbs through the supply chain in the Journal of the American Herbalist Guild which should be available for free on the AHG site in the future. I wanted to include this one excerpt from the interview about my vision for the Sustainable Herbs Proj...
This conversation with Josef Brinckmann, Vice President of Sustainability for Traditional Medicinals, for Numen inspired my current research following herbs through the supply chain of the botanical industry. And so I wanted to include some excerpts here to provide the foundation for this new project.
I went to Poland and Hungary this past fall to follow plants. I wanted to see how and in what ways they changed as they moved through the supply chain. Yet what captured my attention and my curiosity were the people: the men and women working hard at whatever part they play in that supply chain: collecting, drying, storing, selling, shipp...
We’ve just returned after almost five weeks of visiting herb farms, primary processing centers, and finished product manufacturers of herbal products. It’s been a whirlwind tour through three states and five countries. I have hours of footage and pages of notes to sort through, all of which will take many, many hours. But before immer...
Mountain Rose is the go-to source for bulk medicinal herbs by most herbalists in the US and a generous supporter at herb conferences and of United Plant Savers. What started out as mail-order part of Rosemary Gladstar’s herb shop in northern California more than 20 Shawn Donnille of Mountain Rose Herbs speaks with the Sustainable Herbs ...
I went to Nepal in the late 1980s as a graduate student in anthropology to look at the impact of a conservation area on a local community. It was a smart project based on a lot of research by some of the brightest Nepali researchers in the country at the time. I was interested in conservation, and I was interested in doing research that m...
At the 2013 International Herb Symposium, I attended herbalist Cathy Skipper’s workshop on essential oils. Cathy trained and now teaches at the ‘Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Médicinales‘ in France. I didn’t know much about essential oils and was curious to learn more.
I met with Sebastian Pole in his home south of Bristol. He served me a cup of Pukka tea and then led me to his office, a large room lined with bookshelves filled with books on India and Hinduism and Ayurvedic medicine and plants. As soon as he sat down, he began talking and, with little prompting from me, spoke for almost two hours about ...
Our Vision: Households, urban and rural, with pots of medicinal herbs: Thyme, Sage, and Rosemary on their back porch. Echinacea and Garlic grow in their garden. Grown ups and children know where and when to gather St. John’s Wort and Stinging Nettles. They know how to dry them for tea, prepare an oil or salve, and when to use each.