On the border between Poland and Belarus, the Bialowieza Forest remains the Europe’s largest and last primeval forest—a Garden of Eden of old-growth trees that have been largely protected for over 7,000 years. Encompassing roughly 400,000 acres, the forest boasts some of Europe’s tallest trees and its largest herd of wild bison. The meadows surrounding this UNESCO World Heritage Site are also a vital source of wild, medicinal herbs. While the area is currently fighting illegal deforestation of these ancient trees, introducing more sustainable harvesting practices becomes essential to protecting the long-term future of this forest and meadow ecosystem and preventing overharvesting.
Fortunately, our partnership with the team at Runo Spolka in the nearby town of Hajnowka, Poland has helped us fulfill our mission to only source sustainably harvested herbs, while also keeping the forest meadows vibrant. By holding ourselves and our partners to the FairWild Standard, we can do our part to protect the biodiversity of this special place, while also ensuring a viable livelihood for our collectors.
Medicinal plants have been subject to overexploitation as long as there have been large populations of humans who value them.