Back Image for Here's to a beautiful FairWild world

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.

Love Tea Elderflower

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.

Pukka Herbs buys around 50% of all the FairWild certified herbs harvested in the world and has the largest FairWild range of any company.

Not only do we want to be leaders in sustainable wild harvesting, we want the whole herbal community to adopt this respectful approach.

Encouraging regeneration

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 incentivised by FairWild to leave some of the population untouched, allowing the remaining plants to mature and naturally regenerate.

Paying fairly

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.

Supporting communities

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.

Meet the author

Pukka Logo

Sebastian Pole, Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Master Herbsmith

Hello There. I’m a Co-founder and the Master Herbsmith at Pukka Herbs. As well as having the most amazing job of formulating all our organic teas and supplements I am a passionate environmentalist – that’s why we are 100% organic, pioneers in sustainably sourcing herbs with FairWild, and we give 1% of our turnover for rejuvenating the Planet. I also run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I practise an eclectic blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western Herbal Medicine and am a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. I love using the principles of Ayurveda (aka the ancient art of living wisely) – coupled with insights of traditional healing and modern science - to help create the best of health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice with lots of herbal teas and tonics to keep me well. I am passionate about running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone we connect with – from our farmers, collectors, Pukka team to you. I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to thrive on.

Pukka stories