Traditional Medicinals, the leader in medicinal teas(1) and largest Fair Trade Certified Herbal Tea Company in the United States(2) is the first U.S.-based manufacturer to obtain the new FairWild certification. This sustainability standard, established in 2006, sets international social, ecological and quality standards for wild-collected plant species, with a fair deal for all those involved throughout the supply chain.
Traditional Medicinals has worked with plant collector communities for over 35 years to ensure the most efficacious and highest quality pharmacopoeial grade herbs for its products. As part of a long-standing company commitment to social responsibility, environmental stewardship and cultural preservation, Traditional Medicinals(R) was instrumental in first identifying a critical gap in sustainability certification for wild harvested plants. Most notably, of the 3,000 total plant species traded globally, only about 900 species - less than one third - are farmed, with the rest being wild-collected. These wild-collected species are not included under the existing Fair Trade standards. Until now, there has been no framework for measuring Fair Trade practices on these wild collected herbs.
Traditional Medicinals' experience and perspective helped inform the FairWild Foundation in establishing a critical social and ecological benchmark across all industries that use wild-collected plant species in their products including medicines, teas, spices and cosmetics. FairWild certification offers a universal set of comprehensive social, ecological and quality requirements that fills in gaps in existing frameworks for verification of sustainable wild collection including respecting customary rights, fair prices and fair trade premium, preventing negative environmental impacts, maintaining wild resources, and applying good management and business practices.
"We are very proud to have this new sustainability standard for wild-collected ingredients for our products. However, investing time and resources in developing new universal standards for wild-collected plants is not a marketing idea, this is an example of how we do business," said Blair Kellison, CEO, Traditional Medicinals(R). "As we are relying on communities all over the world for herbal ingredients that are passed through to our consumers in our products, our deeper involvement in ensuring the sustainability and quality of our supply chain isn't just humanitarian ethics, it is also sound business practice."
"Traditional Medicinals has been a key driving force in getting our act together and putting business sense in the designing and applicability of our FairWild Standard", says Bert-Jan Ottens, Head of Communication and Marketing of the FairWild Foundation. "Working with a private sector partner has helped us focus on priorities. We are therefore very happy that as a result they are now a frontrunner in the US and other markets, truly incorporating all the important aspects of sustainability in their FairWild certified products."
Traditional Medicinals "Just for Kids" Organic Cold Care and Organic Nighty Night(R) are the first herbal tea products to have the FairWild labeling. FairWild certified Organic Throat Coat(R), Organic Licorice and Organic Nettle will be introduced in 2010.
About Traditional Medicinals
Providing the highest quality herbal products since 1974, Traditional Medicinals incorporates the art of traditional herbal formulating with the most modern scientific methods of quality control. Some of its best selling medicinal herbal teas include Organic Smooth Move(R), Organic Throat Coat(R) and Organic Mother's Milk(R). The company uses pharmacopoeial grade herbs and is committed to the scientific study of their products, including rigorous quality control testing, following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and sponsoring clinical research. Products can be found in health and natural food stores, nutritional shops, grocery supermarkets and drug stores throughout the United States and Canada as well as in the U.K. and the Netherlands. For more information about Traditional Medicinals, please visit www.TraditionalMedicinals.com.
About FairWild Foundation
Established in 2008, the FairWild Foundation promotes the sustainable use of wild-collected ingredients, with a fair deal for all those involved throughout the supply chain. The FairWild Foundation aims to provide a worldwide framework for implementing a sustainable, fair and value-adding trading system for wild-collected natural ingredients and products thereof. For more information please visit www.fairwild.org.
(1)SPINS/AC Nielsen 52 week data ending April 2009. In the United States, "medicinal teas" are classified as herbal dietary supplement products but in Canada and in the EU they are classified as medicines.
(2)$ Sales Fair Trade Certified(TM) Tea SPINS/Nielsen Bag Tea Food/HNF Total USA 52 weeks end Jan 24, 2009 (With transition of Organic Nighty Night(R), Organic Chamomile with Lavender & Organic Easy Now(R) to Fair Trade Certified(TM) status)