FairWild Week and wildharvested Rhodiola rosea
ARRGO celebrates those who are working hard right now to bring in the wild Rhodiola rosea harvest in an ethical and sustainable manner. In the province of Xinjiang in northwest China, the wild Rhodiola is dug in June and July. More than 95% of the world’s supply of Rhodiola rosea comes from the wild. ARRGO is hoping to make a difference and to make the supply of Rhodiola rosea sustainable through cultivation. Rhodiola rosea has benefitted so many and we want to ensure the supply for generations to come. But just as important is the wild supply. What have we yet to discover about this diverse species? And what will we lose if the wild species is lost?
Here is an article recently revised and published by the American Botanical Council’s Sustainable Herbs Program about the wild harvest of Rhodiola rosea in China. In China, the wild harvest takes place in the Xinjian Uighur Autonomous Region, which lies in the northwest of the country where Rhodiola rosea grows on the steep slopes of the Tian Shan mountain chain. Wild Rhodiola rosea is also collected in parts of Mongolia and Russia.
Next week, June 21-25, 2021 is FairWild Week. This series of webinars is sponsored by the FairWild Foundation. It is a great way to learn more about the state of wildharvesting and how it affects everyone.
Regarding wildharvesting, the FairWild Foundation says this:
One key issue is that, as consumers, we often have absolutely no idea we’re consuming wild plants. And if we do, many companies, whether purposefully or not, make it very difficult to find out where these ingredients came from and whether they were collected sustainably and ethically.
Based on IUCN Red List criteria, one in 10 of the 19% of plant species used for medicinal and aromatic properties that have been assessed are threatened with extinction in the wild. Unsustainable use and overexploitation are key threats to the world’s wild plants, and figures show that global trade in wild plant ingredients is increasing with the value of trade tripling in recent years.
It’s not only consumers who rely on wild plant ingredients however; millions of people the world over depend on them for their primary source of income. In Europe, 26% of households collect non-wood forest products (NWFPs), with global production of NWFPs valued at USD88billion per year.
ARRGO sincerely appreciates our customers and our growers that have made the choice and support cultivation of Rhodiola rosea. We applaud all efforts to keep the wild sources of Rhodiola in tact. Let’s work together to allow this amazing and invaluable medicinal herb to continue to benefit many in the years to come.