Published 24 December 2015


FairWild: looking forward to a sustainable and prosperous 2016

Cambridge, UK, 24th December 2015—The December issue of FairWild News includes a round-up of the diverse variety of projects and policy initiatives worldwide in 2015 focused on achieving the FairWild Foundation’s mission of promoting the sustainable use of wild-collected plant ingredients, with a fair deal for all those involved throughout the supply chain. 

Thi Hieu Dong from Ban Khang village in Viet Nam collecting jiaogulan Gynostemma pentaphyllum the "immortality herb" during a TRAFFIC project on sustainable wild plant harvesting and trade © Tung Pham / TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC is a partner to the FairWild Foundation and was among those who helped develop the FairWild Standard to ensure those collecting wild plant ingredients harvest the produce sustainably and receive a premium price for their efforts. 

In Georgia, a wild liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra root supplying operation recently received certification status: prior to this, demand for FairWild certified liquorice had been increasing and was close to exceeding the available supply. Other certified suppliers are based in Kazakhstan and Spain

In China, the successful project on Engaging China’s private sector in sustainable management of medicinal plants – the multiplier effect (EGP MAPs) wound up this year, with significant strides made in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through the medicinal plants supply chains of the traditional Chinese Medicine industry. The final project report and policy recommendations will be available on TRAFFIC website. New opportunities are currently being sought to continue building the momentum for sustainable sourcing in this most important source region and market for wild collected ingredients. 

In Pakistan, representatives of ProFound - Advisers in Development, another FairWild partner organization visited Northern Pakistan as part of a collaborative mission of the Dutch government agency CBI to promote imports from developing countries through a Mountains and Markets project. The team visited cultivation and wild collection plant areas as well as local processors and companies in Skardu, Astore and Gilgit and provided trainings on the benefits of harmonization of sustainability standards, such as organic and FairWild. As a result of the visit, a pilot project next year will explore the certification of Chilgoza pine nuts, trialling a new methodology for certification against several standards at once.

In Viet Nam, a new project on “Enhancing management and benefit flows in Vietnam’s wild medicinal products” was formally launched in October, where it will run in Bac Kan province and aims to improve the livelihoods of at least 1,000 low-income households, encouraging sustainable harvesting and trade in Jiaogulan Gynostemma pentaphyllum, according to principles of the FairWild Standard. 

In India, the FairWild Standard was promoted within a project implemented by the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) in the Western Ghats. A short documentary developed as part of a Green Economies project financed by the Critical Ecosystem Partnerships Fund (CEPF) shares how it was applied to harvesting of Bibhitaki and Haritaki (Terminalia spp.) and how wildlife in the region, including the majestic Great Hornbills, benefit as a result. 

In Kosovo wild collection companies supported under the Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) programme, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), explored the potential markets for sustainably produced non-wood forest products. Supported by ProFound, the companies accessed business leads to support sustainable growth of the sub-sector, and also convened meetings with FairWild Foundation to discuss the Standard and certification process.

On the policy front, FairWild featured at a TRAFFIC and WWF side event on “Tools for sustainable and legal trade in timber and non-wood forest products” held at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa; at the IUCN Species Survival Commission Leaders Meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and at 51st Council Session of the International Tropical Timber Organization(ITTO) in Malaysia

Finally, the year ended with the FairWild Secretariat moving, along with partner TRAFFIC, to a new office location in the David Attenborough Building on the Cambridge Conservation Campus

“Trade in wild plants affects us all, and as this selection of FairWild news demonstrates, sustainable trade in these important wildlife resources conveys positive conservation messaging about sustainable use and improved livelihoods,” said Anastasiya Timoshyna, TRAFFIC’s Medicinal Plant Programme Leader. 

“The FairWild Standard is becoming recognized worldwide. And we look forward to a sustainable and prosperous 2016.”

The December 2015 FairWild newsletter