SUSTAINABILITY & RESPONSIBLE SOURCING
Ingredients from the Worlds largest organic-certified forest area.
Lapland of Finland is the Worlds largest organic-certified forest area - 99 % of the forests in Lapland are organic-certified. Organic certification is a significant contribution to sustainability of non-timber forest products. Certification means that no chemicals are allowed in the area, guaranteeing that forests remain clean and harvested products are chemical-free.
Finland has the Worlds largest organic-certified forest area, 13 million hectares in total in 2016 out of Worlds total of 62 million hectares of certified areas for organic wild collection. 99% of forest areas in Lapland are organic certified. According to the Ruralia Institute of the University of Helsinki, up to 87-99% of all forests in Finland could be certified as organic without any additional measures or changes in current forestry, and the goal is to have all the forests certified organic. Organic-certification is a significant contribution to sustainability of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and Medical and Aromatic plants (MAPs), and guarantees purity of these materials.
Wild collection protects natural biodiversity when businesses contribute to ethical conduct.
Wild collection protects natural biodiversity when businesses contribute to international standards. Wild collection does not harm natural biodiversity the same way cultivation does. Intensifying land use is one of the biggest threats for natural biodiversity. By wild-sourcing the forest areas can remain as they are - In their natural state - Natural biodiversity remains intact and the products are free from agricultural chemicals, while the commercial use of wild-collected plants empowers rural communities and protects traditional livelihoods in rural areas.
However, the increasing demand for wild plants as ingredients for food, cosmetics, well-being and medicinal products does posses some major ecological issues that need to be addressed: Over-harvesting, land conversion, and habitat loss are the main threats for MAP plant species and natural biodiversity of their habitats. International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants(ISSC-MAP) offers a framework for sustainable utilization of these natural resources along with guidelines on good agricultural and collection practices (GAPC) by WHO.
The annual total crops of wild berries in Finland are estimated to be 500-1000 million kilograms, while the industry utilizes only around 15 million kilograms annually (MARSI Statistics, Finnish Agency of Rural Affairs). None of the species utilized are endangered, and the crop yield is much higher than the commercial utilization. Close attention is also paid to collection practices, and other species are not harmed during the process.
International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP), Convention of Biological Diversity www.cbd.int
Rural communities and gatherers must benefit too.
Wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) secures valuable income for many rural households, and supports traditional livelihoods in Arctic areas. Non-timber Forest Products (NTFP) are after lumber industry the second most commercially significant form of forestry, and an important source of income in rural areas. Gatherers are paid a fair price, and human rights are fully respected at all stages. When natural resources are valued by locals, people are more motivated to protect them