FairWild standard secures supply of wild ingredients

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trade

A new fair trade standard was presented at In-Cosmetics in Amsterdam that has been specially designed for the certification of wild harvested products.

The FairWild standard aims to help collectors of wild products get a fair deal which will in turn help to ensure the future stability of the supply chain, project manager Dr Franziska Staubli told CosmeticsDesign. The standard can be applied to all types of wild harvested products including medicinal herbs, nuts and honey, although Staubli noted that essential oils and fragrance compounds would be the most pertinent for the cosmetics industry. Natural and organic cosmetics drive trend​ Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have long been used in both traditional and modern health care and cosmetics products. With the increasing popularity of natural and organic cosmetics, the organisation behind the standard SIPPO (the Swiss Import Promotion Programme) expects the use of MAPs to grow rapidly. Currently about 3000 MAP species are traded internationally with an even larger number being traded on a local and regional level, a majority of which are wild harvested, according to SIPPO. Such trade in wild collected products provides valuable income for many rural communities although when taken as isolated ingredients MAP species rarely have the market value to make domestication and cultivation economically justifiable, explained Staubli. Standard will ensure supply​ She said the collectors of the MAP species often live in extreme poverty, and without a stable income, the harvest becomes unviable. For finished product manufacturers the secure supply of an ingredient is of utmost importance and according to Staubli buying from a FairWild certified producer will provide this, as well as ensuring product safety and better traceability. The standard has been particularly successful in the Balkan states where the aim was to bring back the raw material supply that had been threatened due to years of war, said Staubli. However, the project does aim to become global in the future, and discussions with Phytotrade Africa - a fair trade certification body operating in southern Africa - about possible collaborations in the future are underway.

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