In the botanical industry, botanicals are often distinguished between those that are wild harvested and those that are cultivated. Yet, there is a tremendous variation in the types of cultivation, from large monocrops grown with pesticides and fertilizers to farms that focus on the health of the whole ecosystem as a way to ensure the health of the particular botanicals and other crops that they grow.

What Does Responsible Sourcing Mean?

We are excited to announce the first of what will be a series of webinars that explore the specific steps involved in sourcing botanicals in ways that are good for the plants, for people, and for the planet.

The first of these, Paths to Regenerative Farming in the Botanical Industry: A Conversation with Gaia Herbs, Herb Pharm, and MegaFood, showcasea three models for implementing regenerative agricultural practices. The speakers discuss how other companies can apply these or similar practices, and highlight strategies that can work for the industry as a whole.

In the second, Caring for the Whole Ecosystem: Growing Botanicals on Corporate-Owned Farms, the managers of three certified organic farms discuss methods to care for the health of the soil and biodiversity as a whole. Speakers: Danielle Kruse, Farm Manager for Trout Lake Farm, the source of much of the certified organic echinacea in the world, Christine Mason, farm manager of Standard Process, a multi-generational, family-owned and operated, nutritional supplement company for over 90 years, and Jacopo Gabriele Orlando, Impact and Sustainability Manager from ABOCA, an Italian company that cultivates 80 species of medicinal plants on over 1,400 hectares of land in Tuscany and Umbria, using organic farming methods.

And in the third, Caring for the Whole Ecosystem 2: Regenerative Practices on Family-Owned Farms, Ann Armbrecht, speaks with four farms growing medicinal plants in different regions of the US (North Carolina, Vermont, Oregon, and Hawaii) about their vision for farming, some specific practices they follow, and the unique challenges they face. We will talk about what is needed to shift towards a more equitable system, create more resilient models and what the responsibilities are of botanical companies and buyers of herbal products. Speakers: Jordan Pratt, Farmer Director, Kauai Organic Farms; Cee Stanley, from Green Heffa Farms, Inc.; Mel and Jeff Carpenter from Zack Woods Herb Farm; and Jeff and Elise Higley from Oshala Farm.

Additional SHP Resources on Regenerative Farming

  • For more information and resources on regenerative farming in the botanical industry, download Regenerative Farming in the Botanical Industry (or view below), from the SHP Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit (download the complete toolkit here.)
  • In this case study, Bethany Davis, Director of Advocacy, Social Impact and Government Relations for MegaFood, outlines MegaFood’s Healthy Farm Standard. Bethany will be speaking more about this standard in the Dec. 3 webinar.
  • Read Ann Armbrecht’s review of the documentary Kiss the Ground.
  • And watch this SHP video outlining the practices at Avena Botanicals to build health soils!