The FairWild and Pukka stand at #EarthOptimism engaging visitors on sustainable wild-plant ingredients © TRAFFIC

The FairWild and Pukka stand at #EarthOptimism engaging visitors on sustainable wild-plant ingredients © TRAFFIC


Published 5 May 2017


FairWild and Pukka Herbs spread the Love of sustainability at #EarthOptimism

Cambridge, UK, April 2017–On Saturday, 22nd April, leading conservationists, international NGOs and members of the public gathered at the David Attenborough building to celebrate this year’s Earth Day during an “Earth Optimism” event. 

Organized by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, the event saw experts share inspiring examples of conservation success stories from across the world, spreading messages of hope on why, in many places, we are winning the fight to protect our planet and its natural biodiversity.

Amongst the speakers was Sebastian Pole, Master Herbsmith and Co-founder of Pukka Herbs. His presentation “How the incredible power of plants can save the world” discussed the profound importance of sustainable and ethical business practices when harvesting wild-sourced plant ingredients.

A powerful measure and sustainability framework for doing so is the FairWild Standard. Currently, twenty-seven teas sold by Pukka Herbs have FairWild certified ingredients, thus ensuring that the natural products they contain are harvested sustainably and that the harvesters themselves receive a fair price.

The Great Pied Hornbill and the Bibhitaki tree is a prime example of how the FairWild certification standard contributes to conserving natural biodiversity. 

The iconic Great Pied Hornbill resting on a branch of the Bibhitaki tree © Pukka Herbs

India’s Bibhitaki tree (Terminalia bellirica) is the source of one of Ayurveda medicine’s most valued ingredients and one of the three fruits used in Pukka’s Triphala formula. Because of the Bibhitaki’s size and the large hollows that appear in its trunk, it is also the nesting home of the iconic Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis).

Because of the valuable timber produced by the tree, both the Bibhitaki species and the Great Pied Hornbill were under threat from landowners tempted by the lucrative income offered by logging. However, by guaranteeing landowners a reliable and sustainable market for the harvested fruit, applying the FairWild certification standard has facilitated the conservation of both the Bibhitaki tree and the Great Pied Hornbill.
In addition to Sebastian Pole’s speech, a FairWild and Pukka Herbs booth showcased to hundreds of visitors how the latter has embraced sustainability standards in their wild-harvested plant supply chain. Members of the public were invited to test their herbal knowledge on TRAFFIC’s WhyGoWild quiz and discover the many hidden benefits offered by wild plants.

The stall also featured deconstructed Pukka Love tea–revealing the individual ingredients used and the fascinating journey they take from their harvesting to being enjoyed in a cup of tea!

The day was a resounding success, celebrating how business can be a force for good within conservation and promoting the importance of sustainable sourcing of wild-plant ingredients in everyday products.

Find out more about sustainability through FairWild.

About FairWild

The increasing demand for wild plants—as ingredients for food, cosmetics, well-being and medicinal products—poses major ecological and social challenges. The pressure on potentially vulnerable plant species can endanger local ecosystems and the livelihoods of collectors, who often belong to the poorest social groups in the countries of origin.

As a response to these concerns, the FairWild Foundation is working with partners worldwide to improve the conservation, management and sustainable use of wild plants in trade, as well as the livelihoods of rural harvesters involved in wild collection. TRAFFIC has supported the development of the FairWild Standard, and now hosts the organization’s Secretariat under a partnership agreement.