The PCO Forest Grown Verification Program was established in 2014 with the purpose of creating a voluntary, third-party verification for non-timber forest grown products that are produced and harvested in a sustainable and legal manner.
This program benefits producers by building consumer confidence, demand, and premium pricing; protecting forest “crop” in the event of theft, land development and legal matters through documentation; and may provide exemptions around wild stewarding plants. The program standards currently apply to producers, harvesters, processors, and handlers of eleven forest botanical products from private forestland in the United States.
In the summer of 2019, PCO transferred the Forest Grown Verification program to United Plant Savers. A new logo was developed and the transfer of the program completed.
We are blessed in Appalachia with a diverse forest ecology when you compare the region to other temperate forests. BUT we are losing healthy forests at an unprecedented rate due to development and resource extraction. United Plant Savers Forest Grown Verification program is not just any label; it’s a compelling story.
Each verified forest farmer has a dynamic story of land stewardship that takes decades of dedication to grow forest botanicals. As United Plant Savers looks to expand the Forest Grown Verification Program, we will also document and share these stories so that we can bring transparency, ethics, and conservation into the herbal market place. The heart of this program is creating awareness for the value of the forest while nurturing the next generation of forest stewards.
To learn more about the process of verification, please contact John Stock, John@unitedplantsavers.org. We generally look to organize inspections during the summer months. We are fortunate to have funding options to cover the FGV inspection and enrollment costs for 2020, especially to residents of West Virginia.
If you are interested in forest farming, please consider joining the Beginners Forest Farming Coalition