Sustainable Herbs Project Blog — Take Action

Wilson Lau Sourcing from China

Wilson Lau: Sourcing Herbs from China

In this SHP Webinar, Wison Lau, President of NuHerbs, talks about a wide ranging set of issues relating to sourcing herbs from China.

Personal Wellness in COVID

Planting Seeds of Wellness in COVID

Herbs mentioned for supporting during COVID in Dr. Tieraona Low Dog's Sustainable Herb Program Webinar "Planting Seeds of Wellness."

The Presencing Institute

Changing the System Begins with Listening

Some highlights from the creation of the Sustainable Herbs Program Learning Lab using the tools and practices of Theory U from the Presencing Institute.

Advocacy and the Botanical Industry

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.

Reflections standing in the moonlight.

The Moonlight and Meeting the Day

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 Invitation

An Invitation

Where do herbs come from? An invitation to follow medicinal plants to the source and discover the healing that that journey makes possible.

Leadership and Mission

Leadership in Mission-Driven Companies

Key points about leadership and values in mission-driven companies from the SHP Toolkit webinar: Leadership and Mission: Creating a Culture of Sustainability and Regeneration. In conversation with Sebastian Pole and Tal Johnson.

Regenerative Farming on Family Owned Farms

Regenerative Farming on Family Owned Farms

Highlights from the SHP Toolkit webinar on regenerative farming practices on family owned botanical farms.

Living income

Living Income in the Botanical Industry

A Sustainable Herbs Program webinar exploring how the living income concept can help to address economic inequity in the botanical industry.

The Business Case for Sustainability

5 Lessons: Why Sustainability is Good for Business

Brian Zapp, of Applied Food Sciences, and Andrea Zangara, of Euromed talk about why investing in quality and sustainability makes good business sense.

What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?

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?

Plant Allies

Plant Allies During COVID

Herbs mentioned in Dr. Tieraona Low Dog's Sustainable Herb Program/American Botanical Council (ABC) Webinar "Planting Seeds of Wellness."

Kiss the Ground Documentary Explores Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

Kiss the Ground Documentary Explores Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

Sustainable Herbs Program DIrector, Ann Armbrecht reviews Kiss the Ground, a new movie celebrating the potential of regenerative agriculture.

Equity in the Botanical Industry

Equity in the Botanical Industry

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...

Mission-Driven Marketing

Marketing in Mission-Driven Botanical Companies

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.

What Can Herb Companies Do?

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!

COVID-19 and the Botanical Industry

COVID-19 and the Botanical Industry

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...

Wildcrafting in Appalachia

Wildcrafting Forest Botanicals in Appalachia

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.

Becoming a B Corp

Banyan Botanicals: Becoming a B Corp

Have you ever wondered where to begin the process of becoming a certified B Corp? Erin Douglas, Corporate Responsibility Manager for Banyan Botanicals outlines the process; this case study is part of the SHP tool kit for companies, coming soon.

Seedlings at the Herb Pharm 2019 Expo West booth

Journey to a 'Low Waste' Expo West, part 2

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.

Webinar to address climate action in the botanical industry

9 Steps for Taking Climate Action

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.

Reducing Waste at Expo West, Herb Pharm's Journey.

The Journey to a 'Low-Waste' Expo West

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.

Mountain Rose Herbs's Journey to Zero Waste

The Journey to Zero Waste

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.

Anastasiya Timoshyna, Senior Programme Co-ordinator for Sustainable Trade at TRAFFIC, discusses the role of FairWild in biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity Conservation and FairWild

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.

The Hidden Harvest of Wild Plant Trade

The Hidden Harvest of Wild Plant Trade

Do you know what wild plants are in your cupboard? Find out more about the hidden harvest of the wild plant trade (video).

Josef Brinckmann talks about the importance of wild plants and rural economies

Rural Economies and FairWild

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.

FairWild week: Why care about wild plants?

Why Wild Plants Matter

A short video introducing the FairWild standard. "FairWild is about taking care of our wild lands, taking care of our wild species, and taking care of the people who are harvesting them."

Pick a Plant – Now What? Five (easy) Steps for Herb Companies

Pick a Plant - Now What? Five (easy) Steps for Herb Companies

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. ”

Sue Evans talks about ideas for teaching herbalists about sustainability

Teaching about the Herb Industry and Sustainability

Australian herbalist Sue Evans talks about the responsibility that herbalists have for teaching students and clients about sourcing, sustainability and transparency in the botanical industry and suggest ways to do just that.

Botanical Industry and BIodiversity

Herbs and Biodiversity: FairWild - Looking Forward

“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.

Herb Pharm and the Regenerative Organic Certification

"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.

The Soil Carbon Initiative

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.

If you care about food security or the planet, the message is clear, Bethany Davis of MegaFood writes. We have to refocus our efforts on saving the soil.

Regenerative Agriculture - Where to Begin?

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, talks about Pukka's pledge for science-based carbon targets and her top tips on setting carbon targets.

Science-Based Targets for Climate Change

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.

Five steps to support sustainable and ethical sourcing of medicinal plants.

Five Steps to Support Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing

Five ways herbalists to support ethical and sustainable sourcing of medicinal plants, based on a multi-stakeholder presentation at the AHG Symposium.

FairWild and Conservation

FairWild as a Conservation Strategy

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.

Promoting Livelihoods the FairWild Way

Promoting Livelihoods the FairWild Way

Through the voices of villagers in the western Ghats of India, this 7-minute video documents the ways FairWild certification is supporting rural livelihoods.

What Herb Company to Buy From? Three Reasons Why That's the Wrong Question.

What Herb Company Do You Recommend?

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.

Domestic Herbs – Survey Results

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...

Domestic Herbs – Where Are They?

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...