The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Botanical Raw Materials Committee has launched a Sustainability Subcommittee, according to a press release made on Friday the 12th.

The subcommittee will help increase awareness of sustainability issues and best practices, provide a forum for discussing and developing industry-wide standards, and promote existing sustainability initiatives throughout the industry.

AHPA chief science officer Holly Johnson, Ph.D., said that the committee will “work to increase collaboration and engagement among farmers and collectors, industry, academic, government, standard setting and conservation groups to promote the long-term success of the herbal products industry by ensuring that botanicals currently in commerce continue to be available and can be sourced sustainably.”

Dr. Johnson will act as the staff liaison to the subcommittee.

AHPA’s recent sustainability initiatives includes funding researchers at the University of Kansas for four years for a harvest impact study on oshá, a plant traditionally used in Native American and Hispanic populations for colds and sore throats. They also participated in meetings convened by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and helped to create the ISSC-MAP standard, and have been attending CITES Plants Committee meetings since 2004.

For years, they have worked with member companies to develop free resources to promote industry-wide sustainability practices. They have focused on sustainability leadership, self-assessment tools, gaps in certification, and regenerative agriculture.