The FairWild Foundation was founded in 2008 and is responsible for the quality and implementation of a unified standard and certification system that includes ecological as well as social aspects.

Development of ecological aspects

In order to ensure sustainability in the wild collection system, thus guaranteeing a constant and reliable supply of raw materials to industry and traders, the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) was developed between 2001 and 2006. It defines guidelines and provides tools to collectors, producers and decision makers for the planning and implementation of a sustainable resource management system based on the Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP).

The development of ISSC-MAP was supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)TRAFFICWWF, and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Download it here (PDF).

Development of social and fair trade aspects

Accountability and Fair Trade have become important indicators to select business partners in the global market place. There are a number of approaches and label schemes available; however, these are not very appropriate for most wild-collected products. 

The FairWild Standard version 1.0 was developed based on Fair Trade principles and ILO Standards. The system was adapted to be applicable worldwide, not based on plant species and market prices, but on cost calculation and a systematic approach. It was intended for implementation jointly with organic or ecological standards (ISSC-MAP), to ensure a sustainable approach to production.

The development of the FairWild Standard v.1.0 was initiated by SIPPO (the Swiss Import Promotion Programme) in cooperation with Forum Essenzia e.V. and IMO (Institute for Marketecology). Download it here (PDF).

Joining of the two initiatives

These two initiatives joined together to build the FairWild Standard since ecological, social and economical aspects are intertwined and such a system can only be successful if all aspects are treated as being equally important.

The FairWild Standard version 2.0 was published in August 2010, and combines all essential elements of the two original Standards. It draws upon experiences and lessons learned through practical application of the Standard in the field.

Establishment of the FairWild Foundation

The FairWild Foundation was registered under Swiss Law on 16 May 2008, with the aim to promote a sustainable, eco-friendly and socio-economic use of habitats all over the world.

The initial Board of Trustees comprised three members: Klaus Dürbeck, Dr., Rainer Bächi, and Dr. Franziska Staubli. It was later expanded following the decision in October 2008 to merge the FairWild and ISSC-MAP initiatives, whereby representatives from the ISSC-MAP Decision Board were invited to join the FairWild Board of Trustees. Subsequently, additional members have been invited to contribute their specific skills and expertise, through serving one or more three-year terms as Trustees of the Foundation.

Founding donors who contributed to the initial capital of the FairWild Foundation were Beat Kündig, Bert-Jan Ottens, Dietmar Wolz, Rainer Bächi, Klaus Dürbeck and Franziska Staubli.

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