Editor's Note: These articles explore the challenges wildcrafting traditions are facing and the emergence of forest farming as a sustainable alternative to wildcrafting. The first article explores several factors, including a lack of interest in wildcrafting by younger generations and destruction of natural habitats due to mining and urban development, that are putting pressure on the supply chain of wild-harvested botanicals. The second article highlights the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition which provides an alternative to wildcrafting and "helps farmers sustainably wring extra cash out of second growth forest lands that might have limited income potential otherwise."

Nutrition Business Journal and NutraIngredients-USA
November 14, 2017

A look into the vulnerable supply chain of wild-harvested botanicals.

"The people out there digging now, many of them, the first time they went out digging was with their grandma or grandpa," says Michael McGuffin, president of American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). "They learned from the elders, they learned the best practices. It's just country knowledge: what time you harvest, how much you harvest, where you harvest, what you do after you harvest." Yet, while there's a long tradition, McGuffin bemoans, few young people today want to pick up the craft.

An innovative program administered through a Virginia university is fostering a model for increasing supply chain quality and transparency via the cultivation of forest botanicals in their natural habitat.

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