Sustainability is key to success for our customers, for our growers and for the world’s supply of Rhodiola rosea. Every part of the equation must have success – a win-win for all players. How do we get there? Let’s look at each key player and their role in the steps to sustainability.
- The end-use customer. When the customer is standing in front of the rows of options at their local health food store, are they willing to support sustainability? As a consumer, here’s a good way to think about it – can we spend the same amount of money and get a bit less product, but one that is sustainable? When we do that, we as customers are ensuring a quality supply for generations to come.
- The manufacturer of finished products. ARRGO supplies our Canadian-grown raw material to manufacturers around the world who are concerned about their supply of Rhodiola rosea. Cost is always a factor. How can the manufacturer balance cost with the ideals they stand for? -quality, purity, fair trade, sustainability, equality, diversity and so much more. It’s a tough boardroom and tough decisions have to be made.
- The middleman. ARRGO stands in the middle to support the growers and the manufacturers. ARRGO listens and responds with a commitment to provide the best quality Rhodiola rosea to the manufacturer in terms of purity and highest standards. ARRGO is also fully committed to the growers by ensuring a fair price and by supporting the farmers in their efforts to grow Rhodiola sustainably.
- The grower. The farmer knows their costs to produce. ARRGO helps to find ways to make their work more efficient. It’s the grower’s decision in the end and the supply chain ‘buck’ stops here. Without the grower there is no supply chain, at least for cultivated Rhodiola. Without the grower, then reliance for the global supply of Rhodiola rosea falls on Number 5.
- The supply of wild rhodiola rosea. How much Rhodiola rosea is left in the wild? In the comprehensive study by Josef Brinckmann et al., it is calculated that in the Altai region of the Soviet Union 76% of the wild supply was removed between 1974 and 1986. Brinckmann cites other examples of devastation, as well. What are we losing in diversity and benefits to humans and animals? How can this wild resource be preserved and still provide its amazing benefits for the rest of forever? Is there a way to make this a sustainable option?
For cultivated Rhodiola rosea, the crop requires at least 5 years in appropriate climate and soil to grow and mature. In the wild, Rhodiola rosea on average is 20-30 years old when dug. All harvest practices are destructive, and regenerative efforts are necessary.
What’s the final solution to sustainability for Rhodiola rosea? Change is inevitable, but this is where we are now.