What is FairWild?
FairWild is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2008, with the intention of setting standards in the harvesting of wild ingredients, such as plants, fungi and lichen. We want to create transparency and traceability for wild products.
We aim to set standards in two areas: conservation – ensuring harvesting is sustainable and not depleting resources, or ruining habitats for endangered species. Secondly, to create fair trade standards and protect those people doing the harvesting, as often they are from marginalised social groups.
How can FairWild help to reduce waste?
One of the areas we are interested in is educating harvesters on what they are collecting and how to store it, to help them minimise waste. Herbal products have very high quality specifications, so if harvesters cut the wrong part of the plant it might not meet the quality specification and a lot can be wasted.
What are popular wild ingredients?
Liquorice is one of the most popular plants harvested from the wild. It is used in lots of medicines, especially Oriental and herbal teas and cosmetics.
What could the leisure and hospitality industries do to promote your message?
So far we have been piloting and introducing the scheme, but are now ready to move to the next level. It would be great if the industry could source products which are FairWild certified and then run an event which creates a buzz and raises awareness of the standard.
For example, London and Scottish use wild juniper in their gins, so a gin tasting event could be organised. Neal’s Yard Remedies are developing some cosmetics products for massage, which could be of interest to spas. Pukka teas are accredited and they incorporated a FairWild exhibit into their display at The Eden Project.
We would welcome the opportunity to work with cafés and restaurants to raise awareness around concepts, such as harvesting wild products, sustainability and waste.