Ensuring the trade in wild plants doesn’t threaten the conservation of nature



of medicinal and aromatic plants

in trade are collected from the wild

1 in 5

are threatened with EXTINCTION in the wild

of the 7% that have been assessed against extinction threat criteria


Wild plants in trade

Given the success of cultivated plants, it may seem surprising that commercially important plants are still wild collected at all.

The reasons for wild plant collection include a combination of economics, the biology of the plant involved, as well as various prevailing social conditions in the local community. In certain products or places, a premium is sometimes placed on wild species because of a real or perceived difference in quality.

The volume of wild plant ingredients in trade globally is huge. In 2015, Germany alone imported US$250 million worth of medicinal and aromatic plants. Global values run into the billions of US$., with increasing pressure being placed on individual plant species, as well as entire ecosystems at large.

Protecting plants, protecting wildlife …


Harvest of wild plants can provide vital resources for poor and marginalised people and, where the resulting products are traded, much-needed income.

But sustainable wild harvesting under the FairWild Standard can also provide the incentive and systems to maintain wild plant’s habitat to the benefit of other species and whole ecosystems.

The map above shows how sustainable wild collection, alongside area and and resource management, can benefit additional species.

In China for example, sustainable collection of Schisandra berries in line with the Principles of the FairWild Standard provides 30–60% of the annual income of villages in the region. The Upper Yangzte, where the berries are collected, is an important biodiversity area and one of the most important sites for the Giant pandas.

Through the protection offered to the ecosystem under sustainable harvesting approaches, the benefits can also be felt within the conservation of the Giant Panda.

We work to preserve precious wild plant species and their surrounding landscapes. But our work is also about protecting people, and promoting sustainable development.