In partnership with Climate Collaborative and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Sustainable Herbs Program organized two panels at SupplySide West discussing climate change and the botanical industry. This was the first of what we hope will be a growing number of conversations and collaborations between dietary supplement companies and Climate Collaborative. The next event scheduled is a webinar, Roadmap to climate action & collaboration in the herbal & supplements industry, on December 11.

Sourcing for Impact at SupplySide West

In this conversation with Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals Research Fellow, and Rupa Das, VP of Global Quality & Compliance for BI Nutraceuticals, Holly Johnson, Chief Science Officer for AHPA, and Ann Armbrecht, SHP Director, discuss the challenges and opportunities of cross stakeholder collaboration in supply networks.


Some key takeaways:

  • Transparency and trust are essential for sourcing high quality and consistent raw materials.
  • Transparency and trust are also essential to develop the relationships needed to sustain the industry in the long term.
  • It takes time to find, develop and maintain relationships with good producers.
  • The biggest industry risk is mass migration to urban areas. An essential part of sustainability includes sustaining the communities supplying raw materials.  If producers do not make enough money, they will find other sources of livelihood, leave the farm, and move to urban areas.
  • Quality conscious competitors can address these issues by collaborating to support sustainable practices, provide more stable and long term markets, and help make certifications financially sustainable for producers and brands.
  • Not all companies need to go to the farm level. And so it is also important to build partnerships between brands and ingredient suppliers. Trust and transparency are essential in those relationships as well.
  • “Everyone at the table meetings” at trade shows where farmers, primary processors and brands are a valuable way to trouble shoot and plan longterm.

Catalyzing Climate Action at SupplySide West

In this panel, Sara Newmark of MegaFood, Matt Dybala of Herb Pharm, talk with Erin Callahan of the Climate Collaborative, about how health and nutrition companies are making climate action core to their mission. They discuss how regenerative agricultural practices, waste reductions, and more has not only reduced these companies’ climate impacts, but improved their business relationships with customers.