The cultivation development of medicinal plants and paying more attention to the stable and growing economy of these herbs will result in growth and development of various industries witch are mainly health-centered and supportive of the environment. Obviously, a clear future in the field of sustainable agricultural development entails the optimal exploitation of water resources, the use of standard inputs and, in general, the consideration of a scientific approach.
Cultivation Standards and Agrotechnology
In line with our commitment to authenticity and quality of the raw materials, we care about the source and originality of the herbs; this leads us to the improved consistency of the quality and organic nature of the final processed products. To this end, we pay close attention to the required standards that must be met in all stages of the supply chain from Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). We use Global GAP as the world’s most widely implemented farm certification scheme. Global GAP is an international farm assurance program, translating consumer requirements into Good Agricultural Practice. GAP comprises all activities related to production, harvesting, post-harvest operations, packaging, transportation, and storage. This also entails considering all economic, social and environmental aspects in order to eliminate physical, chemical and biological contaminations. Our goals of using GAP in the cultivation procedures are as follows:
- Crop production with good agricultural practices ensuring consumer confidence, human health and well-being.
- Protection of the natural ecosystem and contributing to the sustainable production.
- Improvement of the irregular uses of chemical inputs that raise concerns in the agricultural sector, the environment and conservation of resources.
We provide the required raw materials in accordance to the individual needs for each species of the herbs as contract cultivation with the professional and experienced farmers. On the other hand, collection of some species (e.g. Ferula assa-foetida) is performed from the natural wild habitats by trained land steward harvesters.
We provide our farmers with genetically pure, non-GMO and standard seeds/transplants as well as expert advice and cultivation technologies to guarantee the originality and quality of our products. Most of our varieties, particularly Saffron and Damask Rose, are characterized by high amount of active ingredients and increased yield.
Having a broad network of growers enables us to decide on the cultivation areas to best suit the agronomical and environmental needs of specific medicinal plants, ensuring the highest yield and content of the active ingredients.
Our Agro-Industrialization Strategy
Our main strategy in production and supply of the raw materials for processing plants of medicinal herbs and stevia are:
– Capacity Survey
- Exploring the genetics resources of the indigenous medicinal plants
- Identification of the potential and capacity of the cultivable regions in terms of climate and species
– Integrative Management
- Prioritization of at least 25 medicinal plants according to their economic importance and market demand
- Supply chain design and establishment of a integrative management system for production and supply networks (local or regional)
- Organizing cooperative farming systems with groups of well-trained and experienced farmers
- Planning training programs for implementation of the GAP standards and organic farming
- Contract cultivation and/or collection of the herbs from the natural wild habitats by trained farmers/land steward harvesters
- Supplying the standard seed and transplant inputs (nursery establishment and management)
- Planning research and development (R&D) programs
- Development of a database of active contributors in supply chain towards digitalization and traceability management of the raw materials
– Sustainable Sourcing and Traceability
Our certified farms operate an integrative management system in compliance with applicable local legislation. In our certification we have contracts with many sustainable organic farms with an annual production of 4,000 MT of certified high-RebA stevia plants and 3,600 MT of certified various medicinal plants. In order to ensure the traceability, authenticity and safety of the herbs a specific coding tag is used to attach all the packages associated to FTTH. The farmers are provided by the bags having specific QR codes. The coding tags which are specific to each individual farmer are retained during harvesting, handling, transportation, packaging and processing. Sample of the products are taken and analyzed before entering to the warehouse and integrating to our supply chain. After confirming the originality, the certified products are entered into the pre-processing unit and subjected to the cutting, cleaning and sorting procedures and finally packaged with the same code as in the farm level, to be sent to the processing and extraction unit. By this way we ensure full traceability and quality sustainability of our products.
We are developing our proprietary crop monitoring system operating in both PC and smartphone platforms. All of our certified farmers use this online program to upload their own data on the crop management including the farm and product(s) specifications (size, yield, GPS coordinates, etc.), the audit period and all other related data. This digital management system provides real-time monitoring of the farmers data and yield forecasts, leading to the improvement of long-term productivity.
– Research and Development
In our R&D department breeding technology with classical and molecular biotechnological methods is on world-class level.