We aim to be socially and ecologically responsible in everything we do, not only because we believe it's right, but also because it forms the foundations of good business. The Organic Herb Trading Company was built on these principles nearly 30 years ago and we continue to uphold them today.
Each of the certification systems mentioned here provides an independent guarantee of what we already know: that our suppliers work hard to maintain healthy soils and ecosystems, co-operate with wildlife, and provide fair working conditions, all the while delivering a high quality product.
Organic agriculture is a holistic system, respecting the connection between healthy soils and healthy crops, as well as their broader relationship with people and the environment. Its aim is to develop nutrient-rich soils without the use of artificial chemical fertilisers, rotating and interweaving crops to bring out the best from the land. Organic farming encourages wildlife so that crops grow within a balanced ecosystem, rather than resorting to pesticides. Genetically modified organisms are not permitted within organic systems.
Our organic products are all certified according to the rigorous standards of the Soil Association. Many are also certified under the National Organic Program (NOP) of the US Department for Agriculture. In addition, we supply a few products which are not eligible for organic certification, for example frankincense and spirulina.
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Fairtrade certification guarantees that the small-scale farmers who grow our herbs and spices receive a fair reward for their work. These are some of the most marginalised people in trade supply chains, and Fairtrade terms provide them with a stable price for their product, plus a premium to be invested in business or community development. The system also ensures that there is no child labour and no discrimination on the farms, and promotes transparency, democracy and the empowerment of farmers.
Organic Herb Trading was the first company to import organic Fairtrade cocoa to the UK, and the first to import Fairtrade organic spices. Several of our suppliers are certified by FLO-CERT and as such we can offer a range of Fairtrade products including vanilla, cloves, ginger, hibiscus, spearmint, rooibos, turmeric, nutmeg and peppercorns. Please contact our sales team for further information.
Wild growing plants form part of our tradition and history, and can be an important source of income for people who do not own their own land. Increasing demand for wild plants poses a potential risk to the natural populations of certain species, and thus to the livelihoods of the collectors.
The FairWild standards have been developed to address these challenges, promoting the sustainable management and collection of wild plants. The standards also address fair trade practices, emphasising long term trading relationships and safe working conditions, and incorporating the concepts of a fair price and additional community premium.
We have sponsored two of our suppliers in obtaining FairWild certification, and welcome enquiries about their products.