You may not realize just how many plants you come into contact with on a daily basis, but for most people, it’s a lot. Whether it’s food, drinks, cosmetics, medicines, or lifestyle products, wild plants can be found in hundreds of thousands of products worldwide. In fact, around 30,000 different plant species have been documented and shown to have health benefits and aromatic uses.
Whether we’re consuming these products or producing them, these plants are being harvested from the wild, and we need to stand up and take responsibility for the things we use and make so these wild allies can stay around and benefit us for a long time to come.
That’s where FairWild Week (June 25th – July 1st) and their TRAFFIC Report comes into play.
FairWild week is an annual initiative to raise awareness about wild plants in trade amongst consumers and reconnect them with the issues affecting the plants on which they, often unknowingly, rely. The goal is to bring awareness and education to consumers and manufacturers around plant sustainability.
A recent analysis found that only an estimated 7% of plants with well-documented uses have been assessed against extinction threat criteria (IUCN Red List), and 20% of these plants are currently classified as threatened with extinction in the wild! With an increase in harvesting and consumption, the number of those being traded beyond sustainable levels is sure to rise even further.
As herbal consumers, educators, and business owners, we have a responsibility to wild plants — to not only spread the word about the amazing things they do but to teach and use them in a sustainable manner as well.
During FairWild Week, you can:
- learn more about how the world of wild plants can be more sustainable
- hear success stories straight from the field
- learn how to take steps to reconnect to the wild through the products you use, and
- learn how to ensure that the products you make are sustainable.
What You Can Do
- Visit the FairWild website to find out what the issues are and how you can be a part of the solution.
- Follow FairWild on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Download, read, and share the 2018 TRAFFIC Report.
- Take a stand! Decide how you will get involved in sustainable plant practices in your daily life.
The FairWild Foundation was established in response to these concerns, to work towards market transformation and provide best practice guidelines and certification schemes for harvesters, operators, producers, and suppliers involved in the trade in wild plant ingredients.