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Quality Assurance From the Ground Up - Sourcing Raw Materials for the Herbal Marketplace

For centuries, medicinal and aromatic plantshave been used all over the world to help improve both helth and beauty. The earlier reports from China relating to the existence of advanced methods of sourcing raw materials from cultivation are more than 2,000 years old. Today there are three basic ways in which the raw materials for the phytopharmaceutical, dietary supplementand cosmetic industries are gathered:

Wild crafting - the reaping of certain plant species in
their natural habitat, usually consisting of a mixture of
different biotypes from different regions, and generally
harvested under different conditions by individual
collectors or collecting organisations

Controlled wild crafting/extensive cultivation - which is
more nature-protective, affording a better homogeneous
quality and preventing species extinction from
over-harvesting while avoiding many of the problems associated
with large-scale cultivation


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By Martin Schneider, Medicinal Plant Cultivation and Purchasing Manager at Linnea, Inc. in Switzerland
Educated in crop sciences and plant breeding at the University of Giessen in Germany, Martin Schneider's career spans nearly 15 years of specialised experience. He has served as a Scientific Assistant and Lecturer in Medicinal Plant Cultivation and Breeding at the University of Geissen; as Manager of the research station for medicinal and aromatic plants in Witterswil, Switzerland, with the responsibility for field trials and the establishment of worldwide cultivation projects; and as Medicinal Plant Cultivation and Purchasing Manager at ELISA Partnership in Ringaskiddy, Ireland. Martin is an active guest speaker at national and international conferences on the specific field of medicinal, aromatic and cosmetic plants.

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Martin Schneider
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