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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 676: III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Volume 2: Conservation, Cultivation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIALS IN THE BOTANICALS INDUSTRY: CONSTRAINTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Authors:   S.A. Laird, A.R. Pierce, S.F. Schmitt
Keywords:   botanicals industry, medicinal and aromatic plants, sustainable and ethical sourcing
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.676.13
Abstract:
The international trade in raw medicinal and aromatic plant material is vast and complex, feeding a range of industries, including the $20 billion botanical medicine market. Raw plant material is largely traded as a bulk commodity with little environmental oversight, and produces limited benefits for communities that harvest or farm plants. Some companies have made efforts to acquire a portion of their raw material from sustainable and ethical sources, but most invest little in this side of their business. In 2001, we conducted a survey of the botanicals sector to examine commercial sourcing practices. The study found that existing industry practice often promotes poor management of species and few benefits for local communities, and many companies remain distant and unaware of the conditions under which raw materials are sourced. However, there also exist opportunities to create change in this sector.

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