Wild-harvested flowers and plants

Sustainable Wild Harvest Products


IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative
Funding programme: Netherlands: Fresh and Ingredients Program

Total value of project 


Value to Coventry University


Project team

Dr David Bek (PI), Dr Jill Timms, Dr Jennifer Ferreira


Coventry University (lead researchers), Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), Coloriginz, Westland Bloemen Export, Adomex and Greenflor

Duration of project

01/07/2020 - 30/06/2021

IDH logo

FSI logo

Project overview

Wild harvested flora products are a significant component of the overall cut‐flower industry, with the market size for wild harvest products being estimated at €107.831 million. However, much wild harvesting is unregulated and poses sustainability risks. In turn this creates reputational risks for retailers.

The market for foliage is changing and retailers increasingly want transparency concerning social and environmental impacts within supply chains. There is currently no assurance standard for wild harvested product, therefore these products lie out of the scope of the FSI. This project is a response to the need to identify solutions to meet this assurance gap.

Project objectives

The objectives of the first phase of the project are:

(i) to map the scale and structure of the wild-harvesting sector globally;
(ii) to identify the sustainability risks that exist for different products;
(iii) to explore the different assurance options available;
(iv) to identify a roadmap for implementing an appropriate assurance system that is acceptable to upstream and downstream stakeholders.

  • An evaluation of the wild harvested sector will bring several benefits:

    (i) Working on better harvesting practices will contribute to efforts to conserve vulnerable landscapes.
    (ii) Harvesting wild flowers and plants, if harvested in line with good practice can have a net positive effect on the climate change through natural carbon sequestration.
    (iii) Help to safeguard livelihoods in rural areas where wild harvesting is undertaken.
    (iv) To safeguard the reputations of stakeholders within the supply chain.

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