4 Bulk Herb Wholesalers You Can Trust

Consider these conscious companies when shopping for herbal ingredients.


| July/August 2016



Frontier Co-op

Frontier Co-op CEO Tony Bedard visits a Madagascar vanilla grower.


Photo courtesy Frontier Co-op

Many of us like to take our health into our own hands and create our own herbal remedies such as tinctures, teas, salves and oils. Of course, growing our own herbs is the absolute best way to get the freshest possible ingredients. But there are many reasons we might not be able to supply all of our own medicinal herbs, and that’s when we turn to bulk herb suppliers. When it comes to making medicinal products, though, it’s more important than ever that the herbs we source are high-quality, grown organically and harvested and handled by experts who know how to best maximize and retain the plants’ medicinal qualities.

The following Editors’ Picks are some of our very favorite suppliers of high-quality herbs grown, processed and distributed in conscientious ways. They all showcase a dedication to superior quality, whether growing their own herbs or developing long-standing relationships with trusted small farmers. In addition, these companies make it obvious that they value the people who work for them through innovative corporate policies. And they value their customers, too, answering every question promptly via phone, email or Facebook.

Frontier Co-op

Norway, Iowa
(800) 669-3275

Founded in 1976, Frontier Co-op is headquartered on 56 acres just outside Norway, Iowa, where its 145,000-square-foot facility houses its bulk herbs, seasonings and spices. Owned by its 40,000 active co-op member-owners, Frontier Co-op offers a full line of natural and organic products, including bulk herbs and spices in addition to culinary spices, organic aromatherapy products and more. Frontier Co-op’s goal is to provide its customers with the highest quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility.

Find them on Facebook.

Ingredient Sourcing & Quality: Frontier was one of the first suppliers to actively advocate organic products and agriculture, carrying its first organic products in 1978 and becoming the first herb and spice manufacturer in the U.S. with certified organic processing. Frontier Co-op also offers farmers fair prices, dealing directly with growers whenever possible. Frontier’s comprehensive sustainable sourcing program, Well Earth, promotes the sustainable production of natural and organic products and creates partnerships built upon a mutual respect for quality botanicals and sound social and environmental principles. The Well Earth program is built on the sourcing expertise Frontier Co-op has gained in more than three decades of experience buying botanicals and meeting personally with growers all over the world. Frontier says, “The Well Earth program is good for our suppliers, their communities, the environment, our co-op and our customers.” Through this program, Frontier helps bring more organic, sustainable and ethically sourced products to the natural foods market, giving consumers the opportunity to use purchases to influence the way the world does business.

Responsibility: Frontier Co-op is committed to sustainability in the storage, processing, packaging and shipping of its products. Its operations practice water conservation; offset 100 percent of power use with renewable energy credits; recycle as much waste as possible; and offset the carbon generated from shipping. Frontier Co-op’s mission is “Nourish people and the planet. Always be fair.” To this end, Frontier Co-op donates 4 percent of its pre-tax sales to support sustainability and community development programs, and to promote organic agriculture research, education and practices in communities across the globe—this standard ranks Frontier among the top companies in the nation for yearly social giving as a percent of sales. Some of Frontier Co-op’s many causes include the Frontier Co-op Foundation, which supports social, educational and environmental causes; the Simply Organic 1% Fund, which supports organic agriculture through research, education and grower development; and the Aura Cacia Positive Change Project, which supports organizations that empower women to transform their lives. Through the Well Earth program, Frontier helps improve the communities where its farmers and growers live. In one recent example, Well Earth worked with its partners to bring expanded dental care services to 41 co-ops of farmers in the mountains around Coban, Guatemala, serving nearly 25,000 people.





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