Six Peruvian companies are traveling together in a delegation to bring exotic functional food
ingredients to US buyers this Fall. They will attend the Supplyside West Tradeshow—a tradeshow
that focuses on the supply of ingredients that are used in the natural products markets in the US,
October 10-14 in Las Vegas, NV—and form a “Peruvian Pavilion” in hopes of meeting with food,
dietary supplement and cosmetic company buyers representative of the US natural products market.
As Peru is a land of diverse geographies and a world biodiversity hot spot, it has given rise to an
array of natural foods and botanical ingredients that are fuelling a culinary explosion in Peru and
garnering much interest from the US market for their health-giving properties and wonderful exotic
flavors. Among these ingredients are: camu camu, maca, purple corn extract, sacha inchi, and
yacón. Camu camu is an Amazonian fruit that has one of the highest vitamin C contents in the world.
Maca is a radish-like vegetable that grows high in the Andes and is thought to be the reason for
Andean people’s strength and relative high fertility rates. Purple Corn Extract is used in Peru to make
a delicious antioxidant packed drink. Sacha Inchi, also called Inca Peanut, is a tasty little nut with an
interesting source of omega-3 fatty acids. And yacón is a tuber that is the source of a promising low glycemic sweetener.
The Peruvian trade mission to Supplyside West is being supported by The International Trade Centre
(ITC), an agency of the United Nations focused at stimulating trade in emerging countries as a
means of poverty alleviation and biodiversity protection. The trade mission is also supported by
PromPeru, Peru’s export promotion agency.
“We have only just started talking to buyers about their interest in meeting with these Peruvian
companies, and so far the response has been very positive! Buyers love the idea of learning more
about these Peruvian ingredients and seem eager to make relationships with the Peruvian
companies” said Kerry Hughes, consultant for the ITC.
The Peruvian companies attending are: Peruvian Nature S&S SAC, Chakarunas Trading SRL,
Pebani Inversiones SA, Innovaciones Alimentarias SA, Amazon Health Products, and Zanaceutica
EIRL. Peruvian Nature is a sophisticated raw material supplier with the only organic steam
sterilization unit (OSS) in Peru, and they also have a distributor relationship with US-based
Nutraceuticals International, which allows them to easily send samples and service clients in the US.
Chakarunas Trading has been working with communities in both the Andes and the rainforest to
procure their ingredients, and in an effort to support the communities offer them free dental and
health services. Zanaceutica is focused at spray-dried extracts and precooked powders of the
ancient grains from the Andes. Beyond the hallmark Peruvian food ingredients, Pebani Inversiones
also carries interesting Peruvian oils that may be useful in cosmetics. Amazon Health Products is an
expert in sacha inchi, with several forms available, including the omega oil, healthy snacks and
protein powder. Innovaciones Alimentarias specializes in purple corn extracts and products—even
carrying purple corn beer, chili, and an energy bar!
To learn more or schedule a meeting with any of the companies attending Supplyside West, please
contact Kerry Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (707) 644-2354, or Bruno Paino at email@example.com. To learn more abut the ITC or PromPeru, you may visit www.intracen.org or
San Francisco, CA – April 22, 2010 – Just in time for Earth Day, The Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) this week announced the acceptance of The Institute for Marketecology (IMO)—certifiers of Fair for Life Fair Trade Certification—as an active member to the association. The DFTA is an association of organizations who are committed to promoting and protecting the integrity of Domestic Fair Trade Principles through education, marketing, advocacy and endorsements.
The Birth of a Movement
Many people today are familiar with international fair trade as a movement to ensure fair prices and premiums paid to farmers, as well as a system that promotes fair and transparent relationships between farmers and buyers, and protects principals of environmental and social responsibility. However, as the movement has grown it has become apparent that many of the challenges producers are facing in developing countries are comparable to what family farmers and farmer groups often have to deal with here in North America.
DFTA members have come together to contribute to a movement for fairness, equity and sustainability that supports family-scale farming, farmer-led initiatives such as farmer co-operatives, just conditions for farm workers, and the strengthening of the organic agriculture movement. The DFTA members seek to bring these efforts together with mission-based traders, retailers and consumers to contribute to the movement for a more equitable, diverse and sustainable agriculture in North America and around the world. By creating businesses committed to principles of fairness and equity and leading by example, we hope to create positive change in the mainstream marketplace by influencing the conduct of conventional corporations.
Fair for Life Extends to Domestic Production
“Fair for Life” is a brand neutral third party certification program for social accountability and fair trade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations. The program was developed in 2006 and complements existing fair trade certification systems. It provides fair trade market access to a wide variety of products while raising the bar for brand holders. Fair for Life has gained market acceptance with several important brands achieving the certification, such as Guayaki and Dr. Bronner’s, and it has been accepted by Whole Foods Market under its Whole Trade Guarantee.
With their acceptance into the DFTA, IMO now formally announces its call for applications for North American operations that would like to become pilot certification projects for the application of Fair for Life Fair Trade standards in a Domestic Fair Trade context. To receive an application form, operators should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social accountability and fair trade have become important indicators to select business partners in a global market place. The IMO Social & FairTrade Certification Programme combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions. With over 30 IMO offices world-wide, Fair for Life inspection and certification can be combined with other certification programs, such as Organic, FSC, GOTS, streamlining the certification process. The program is a supply chain certification designed for both food and non food commodities (cosmetics, textiles, handicraft and others).
February 4, 2010 – The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) rings in the New Year
by issuing Fair for Life Fair Trade Certification to a locally-owned Canadian
independent distributor of organic produce, Discovery Islands Organics, Ltd.
Fair for Life was developed as an alternative Fair Trade Certification Program by
the Swiss Bio-Foundation, in cooperation with IMO, in 2006. Since then, Fair for
Life Social & Fair Trade Certification has gained quick acceptance in worldwide
markets, as it offers many complimentary benefits to existing Fair Trade systems.
These benefits include high transparency, social responsibility audits,
requirements for good environmental performance, and the ability to combine
Fair Trade certification with other programs, such as organic certification, for all
major world markets.
Discovery Islands Organics is an organic and Fair Trade importer and distributor
for fresh produce. They carry several product lines, such as bananas from Peru,
and avocados and mangos from Mexico, that are FLO certified, and now also
blueberries, apples and pears that are Fair for Life Fair Trade Certified to origin.
The core principals of the company are in ethical sourcing and ‘grower
development’, as they go far beyond the role of a regular distributor/importer in
being transparent to farmers, and in helping farmers understand the market and
improve their livelihoods. Discovery Islands Organics’ ethnical sourcing policy is
to buy local and direct, first and foremost, and they also work primarily with
grower cooperatives for the majority of their product sourcing. They help to
educate their growers on fair trade, and have supported the implementation of
fair trade certified systems with their growers. Discovery Islands Organics pays
fair prices, and social premiums that are usually well above the base level for fair
trade. They are also active with their domestic growers, and are interested in
promoting domestic fair trade among these producers, especially in the
Northwestern United States, and British Columbia, Canada, regions. Discovery
Islands Organics is active in educating the retailers on the importance of
supporting ethically grown and sourced produce.
“We are happy to see a pioneer in the Northwestern and Canadian organic
movements embrace fair trade among its sourcing practices and company policy.
The combination of organic and fair trade, both domestically and internationally
are important in promoting sustainability through trade.” says Wolfgang Kathe,
Department Manager for Social & FairTrade at IMO.
To learn more about IMO, visit, www.FairforLife.net or www.IMO.ch, or contact
Kerry Hughes at Kerry@IMO-Control.org (North American
Contact) or Anja Ibkendanz at email@example.com (Swiss Contact). To learn more about
Discovery Islands Organics, contact Randy Hooper at
February 1, 2010- The Institute for Marektecology (IMO) awards Fair for Life Fair Trade certification to Alaffia, dba Everyday Shea, makers of cosmetic products formulated with a base of Fair Trade Shea Butter. Fair for Life Fair Trade certification is an independent verification of eco- and social- marketing claims.
Alaffia was founded by a native of Togo, Olowo-n’djo Tchala, who says “Fair Trade enables communities in Africa to become self sustaining. I grew up in poverty in Togo, and I feel morally responsible to dedicate my life towards empowering West African communities. Handcrafted Shea Butter from wild shea trees is a unique renewable resource that if traded fairly can empower individuals and communities in West Africa. This is why we founded the Alaffia/Agbanga Shea Butter Cooperative in Togo and later Alaffia in North America – to help bring economic and gender empowerment to communities in Togo. Fair for Life Fair Trade certification is important to us, as it independently verifies our empowerment efforts and also helps broaden Fair Trade awareness within our African and North American communities.”
Fair for Life was developed as an alternative Fair Trade Certification Program by the Swiss Bio-Foundation, in cooperation with IMO, in 2006. Since then, Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade certification has gained rapid acceptance in worldwide markets, as it offers many complimentary benefits to existing Fair Trade systems. One of these key benefits is transparency.
Fair for Life Fair Trade certification transparently verifies fair trade production and trade, as it publishes the results of certification on its website at www.fairforlife.net. During certification, operators are rated on their performance in areas such as trade relations, health and safety, equal treatment and opportunity, social benefits, and environmental issues. To see how Alaffia and other certified companies scored, visit their “Operator Profile”. There you will see
that Alaffia USA produces skin care products made primarily from ingredients from Alaffia Togo, a co-operative supporting local communities and shea nut collectors through community projects, paying shea nut collectors above market value, and employing women year-round in shea butter production.
When buyers were not ready to pay above market price for shea butter, supporting fair trade wages, Alaffia USA was established to produce shea butter skin care products. Over the years, additional ingredients have been added to production in Togo, subsequently expanding the line of skin care products made in the US. This makes the co-op and finishing facility in the US interdependent, supporting the Togo community in reforestation projects, health care of pregnant
mothers and sending donated bikes from the US to encourage rural children to remain in school.
To learn more about IMO, visit, www.FairforLife.net or www.IMO.ch, or contact Kerry Hughes at (707) 644-2354 or Kerry@IMO-Control.org (North American Contact) or Anja Ibkendanz at firstname.lastname@example.org (Swiss Contact). To learn more about Alaffia, contact Olowo-n’djo Tchala at email@example.com
San Francisco, CA – October 15, 2009 – Just in time to celebrate Fair Trade Awareness Month, Lotus Foods is proud to introduce to the US market the first rice to satisfy the stringent fair trade, social and environmental standards required for Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade certification by IMO. This ‘Volcano Rice’ is produced by the Simpatik organic farmer cooperative in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia, and it is sold exclusively by Lotus Foods, El Cerrito, CA. It is a delicious blend of popular local fragrant brown rice, red rice and red polished rice for extra nutrition and is good for both people and the planet. The small-scale West Java farm families growing rice on the mineral-rich volcanic soils are using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a methodology that enables cash- and land-poor farmers to double and triple their yields while using 20-50% less water, 90% less seeds, and no agrichemicals.
The system of measuring the performance towards the Social & Fair Trade Certification Program allows gradual improvement and demonstration of achievements to the public. Due to the detailed scrutiny of social and environmental issues along the entire value chain from production through processing organizations are cautioned not to expect certification in the first year. “However, the Simpatik farmers passed with high ratings,” says Caryl Levine of Lotus Foods. “They earned almost double the points needed to qualify on environmental issues, in large part due to their use of SRI methods.” These issues include water use conservation, climate change mitigation, composting programs, land clearing and impact on threatened habitats and aquatic ecosystems. Simpatik also got high marks for paying men and women the same wage and providing opportunities for disabled community members. Simpatik’s score card is available at IMO’s Fair for Life website (www.fairforlife.net) under the list of certified operators. Kerry Hughes, IMO´s US representative adds, “From the very beginning, ‘Life’ was in the center of the new IMO program: improving the lives and livelihoods of marginalized producers on all continents, in all societies and in all industries where such marginalization occurs. But ‘Life’ is no privilege of humans; meaningful consideration of the lives of animals and plants as well as their habitats is part of the environmental criteria of Fair for Life, as symbolized by the label’s twin leaf.”
The trading partnership between Lotus Foods and the small family farmers that grow its rice is based on a dialogue of respect and transparency. “Although no formal fair trade rice certification program existed in the early 1990s when we first started working with farmers in developing countries,” says Lotus Foods co-founder Caryl Levine, “we pay a premium price that exceeds today’s standard fair trade practices. None of our suppliers had ever exported rice before and together we have worked to develop the infrastructure to meet the standards the USDA and FDA require for quality agricultural imports. Our mission is to support the rights and livelihoods of smallholder farmers through economic participation in a global and sustainable marketplace.”
Lotus Foods introduced two other rice types this spring that are produced using SRI methods. These include Madagascar Pink Rice and Cambodia Mekong Flower. The Madagascar Pink Rice can now be found in the bulk sections of natural food and specialty stores around the country.
Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification by IMO is now celebrating its third anniversary of certifications. This certification program created an opportunity for producers and products that had not previously been eligible for fair trade certification according to product specific standards. Fair for Life opened fair trade certification to many new producers and widened the traditional fair trade definitions, by providing a stringent standard and certification system that is free of political, religious or economic preferences and that has ‘Life’ in its heart. Fair for Life has already contributed to improved income and livelihoods of thousands of workers, smallholders, and plantation farmers and employees in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
For more information about Lotus Foods and how SRI is transforming rice agriculture visit us at: www.lotusfoods.com, or contact Caryl Levine at (510) 525-3137 X 118 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 21, 2009 – Exactly three years ago, in September 2006, a new Social and Fair Trade Program was launched by the Swiss Bio-Foundation, in cooperation with the Institute for Marketecology (IMO): Fair for Life. It all started with a handful of relatively small but dedicated companies and their supply chains, who set off to establish a fair trade certification program that would work independent of the traditional FLO / Transfair Fairtrade system. This new certification program created an opportunity for all serious fair trade producers and products that had not previously been eligible for fair trade certification.
Three years ago – A pioneering effort …
While hundreds of companies and organizations operated with in-house fair trade programs without having them certified by a third party, there was a pioneering effort in the fair trade movement to develop a certification system that could open the fast growing fair trade market to all types of natural products. It was thought that this certification should work for all types of production systems, and push the existing fair trade envelope by going beyond what already existed. Hence, the name: Fair for Life. From the very beginning, ‘Life’ was in the center of the new program: improving the lives and livelihoods of marginalized producers on all continents, in all societies and in all industries where such marginalization occurs. But ‘Life’ is no privilege of humans; meaningful consideration of the lives of animals and plants as well as their habitats is part of the environmental criteria of Fair for Life, as symbolized by the label’s twin leaf.
… Today – A powerful movement
“Fair for Life allowed a new view on fair trade by taking a closer look at the supply chains of a product, from production to processing, trade and sales”, explains Dr. Rainer Bächi, director of IMO. ”While initially this was an experiment undertaken by IMO and the Bio- Foundation, the program has since become part of a powerful movement.” Fair for Life opened fair trade certification to many new producers and widened the traditional fair trade definitions, by providing a stringent standard and certification system that is free of political, religious or economic preferences and that has ‘Life’ in its heart.
Certification by a flexible but stringent and transparent program
While Fair for Life’s comprehensiveness and flexibility are characteristics well appreciated by clients, the program’s rigor and stringency in implementation certainly were a challenge for many operators. Although certification from Year One is not an easy goal because of Fair for Life’s detailed requirements on social responsibility, health and safety, working conditions and fair relationships between partners in the trade chain, many producers, traders and buyers worked hard and ultimately succeeded in complying with the requirements and obtaining certification.
“Looking back on three years of program implementation, Fair for Life has contributed to improved income and livelihoods of thousands of workers, smallholders, and plantation farmers and employees in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas”, notes Wolfgang Kathe, head of the Social and FairTrade Department at IMO. The www.fairforlife.net website illustrates the program’s transparency approach: on this website all relevant information on certified companies (including performance at the latest audit) and products is published.
Serving as a benchmark
Fair for Life, however, does not only work within the more or less rigid scope of a certification program. It is also being used to verify the performance of larger companies with regard to their own social or fair trade principles, policies and related compliance claims.
Three years ago, nobody involved in the development and implementation of Fair for Life knew if this approach would be successful. Today, it is obvious that fair trade needed this new perspective and approach. Creating a high quality Social and FairTrade Program and label with only little marketing and PR funds relying on client networks and information systems has been a challenging enterprise but it has paid off. Fair for Life has become a well known and fast growing segment of ethical and fair markets.
For more information, please visit the web sites www.fairforlife.net and www.imo.ch.
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Institute for Marketecology (IMO), one of the first and most renowned eco-certifiers, has been selected as a certifier for The Whole Trade Guarantee program at Whole Foods Market. The Whole Trade Guarantee ensures that products meet Whole Foods Market’s high quality standards, producers receive better wages and working conditions, and care is given to the environment during production. The Whole Trade Guarantee program aims to help end poverty in developing countries through the payment of honest, respectable prices for products bound for Whole Foods Markets.
“We are very pleased to have IMO join the group of third-party certifiers for our Whole Trade Guarantee program. Their many years of certification and auditing experience throughout the world, and their keen understanding of the tenets of our program make this an excellent partnership,” said Jim Speirs, global vice-president of purchasing for Whole Foods Market.
To achieve these goals, Whole Foods Market evaluated IMO’s Fair For Life FairTrade certification program and found IMO to be a reliable and suitable quality assurance partner.
“We are honored that our “Fair for Life” FairTrade program has been accepted by Whole Foods Market to certify their Whole Trade Guarantee products. We are optimistic that becoming a Whole Trade Guarantee third-party certifier will help us to continue our work to ensure more sustainable and fair conditions for farmers and workers worldwide while offering high-quality products to U.S. consumers who are genuinely concerned with producer welfare, the environment and the quality of their food and home products,” said Dr. Rainer Bächi, CEO of the IMO Group.
Fair For Life certification is part of the IMO Social & FairTrade Programme and is based on several sets of key baseline standards, such as the ILO conventions, FLO Fairtrade standards, SA8000, and IFOAM Social Criteria. Companies with Fair for Life certification are offered incentives for continuous improvement of social and trade conditions, with transparency being the cornerstone of the Programme.
Another exciting aspect of IMO’s FairTrade certification is that it opens the prospect of fair trade certification to an array of materials and products for which it previously did not exist, including those produced for domestic markets, multi-ingredient products, wild harvested produce, and non-food products, including handicrafts, textiles and toys.
IMO has also been strongly involved in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the AquaGAP program and the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP/FairWild) and quality assurance procedures. All are important sustainable and eco-friendly production programs, hereby providing product integrity for a fast growing segment of responsible consumers.
For more information, please visit www.fairforlife.net and www.imo.ch, or contact Kerry Hughes, M.Sc., IMO U.S. Representative at (707) 644-2354 or by email at: IMO.US.SFT@imo-group.org.
I have recently become US Representative for the well-respected organic and fair trade certifier, called IMO, and am helping them to set up a US office. IMO has a social and fair trade program which is really interesting, and is offering certification of Fair Trade for products that never were able to get this certification in the past, and also a certification called Fair Wild which is specifically for wild harvested goods. This Fair Wild certification is also interesting because it might be viewed as a very pragmatic approach to setting up benefit/share relationships between people who hold traditional knowledge, and the companies that want to commercialize those wonderful products. Here is a press release we recently sent out: New Third-Party Fair Trade Certification Available for a Wide-Range of Products
One of the most prominent organic certifiers, The Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology (IMO), is launching a new Fair Trade certification, labeled “Fair for Life”. Until now, Fair Trade certification has not been available for many types of products. For the first time IMO’s new fair trade standards makes Fair Trade certification available to many products, thereby opening new market opportunities as consumer awareness and demand for fair trade products is growing quickly.
“Fair trade is behaving similarly to the early movement in organics, and is predicted to grow similarly, as there is no sign of slowing to this consumer demand,” says Kerry Hughes, M.Sc., US IMO Representative, also Founder of EthnoPharm, a natural products consulting company with over a decade of experience. IMO has a strong presence throughout the world, with offices and representatives in about 30 countries, and certification practices in over 90 countries. With a new representative in the US, IMO certification will be more attainable to US companies.
A key attribute to the IMO certification is that, compared to the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) standards, the only other standards available for Fair Trade certification, IMO Fair Trade will be available for a wide range of materials and products: herbs, foods, spices, botanicals, including multi-ingredient products, wild harvested produce (under the new Fair Wild standard), and non-food products including handicrafts, textiles and toys. Another key aspect is that the standards were specifically developed to allow any type of smallholder producer organization to be certifiable, including cooperatives and contract production. Plantations and processors will also be certifiable. Additionally, IMO Fair Trade Certification offers operators incentives for continuous improvement of social and trade conditions beyond minimum requirements. The new certification is built on full transparency; therefore, social performance ratings and fair trade premium use of every certified operation will be published on the new website www.fairforlife.org..
For more information, Kerry Hughes and Florentine Meinshausen from IMO will be conducting a Webinar telegroup, November 20, 2007, at 1 PM PCT, to introduce the IMO Fair for Life certification, and the steps required to becoming certified. To attend the tele-conference, or for more information, email Kerry directly at: Kerry@EthnoPharm.com.
Many of you know that I am a supporter of Projeto Kirimurê, and would like to see more people support it. It is really creating a nice environment for at-risk youth, while teaching traditional arts, social and environmental responsibility.
Here is some information about a Benefit we are holding on December 1st, Please attend if you can, and if you can not, you can also support by buying seasonal or non-seasonal greeting cards!
Acclaimed Photographer Best-known for Work with Hip-Hop Artists to Donate Artwork for Socially-Responsible Brazilian Project Focusing on At-Risk Children
Berkeley, CA.—November 22, 2007—In just a few weeks the Capoeira Arts Foundation will open its doors for an elegant and entertaining evening Wine Tasting and Art Showcase Benefit, at 1901 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA, featuring an art show opening by acclaimed photographer Mike Schreiber (www.mikeschreiber.com), tastings of Brazilian wines and cachaça, donated by RioJoes.com, a live capoeira performance (an Afro-Brazilian art form involving dance-like fight and music), live music, and shows.
The world-renowned photographer, Mike Schreiber, has taken special interest in the project, and is donating an entire photojournal exhibit to raise money for this benefit. Mike Schreiber is best known for his work with hip-hop artists, such as John Legend, Mos Def, Common, Nas, and M.I.A. His work reflects his background in Anthropology, for in addition to providing an aesthetic viewpoint, his photos capture the cultural life of his subjects. To visit a preview of the show, please see www.mikeschreiber.com, and select “Projeto Kirimurê” under Portfolios. There will also be blank greeting cards featuring Mike’s work available by visiting the link below.
The event will benefit Projeto Kirimurê, an after-school program that offers capoeira and music classes, as well as academic support in the areas of literacy and environmental education to at-risk youth in Bahia, Brazil. The program was founded by the Capoeira Arts Foundation’s own Mestre Acordeon, who explained that his purpose in creating such a program was “to give back to the people who gave me capoeira.”
According to Schreiber, “I took special interest in this project when I saw the beauty and importance of this traditional art form in Brazil. I spent over a week at the project and saw first-hand how lives of these children are being enriched through capoeira.”
On December 1st the evening’s event will begin at 8 o’clock and will end at midnight. Light hors d’oevres will be served and there will be additional drinks available for purchase. Semi-formal attire is requested.
Tickets are available for purchase by calling (510) 666-1255 or by visiting http://www.capoeiraarts.com/caf/events/. Tickets are $65 per person (100% tax deductible). You may also donate to Projeto Kirimurê by visiting www.projetokirimure.org, or by purchasing seasonal and non-seasonal cards at: http://www.capoeiraarts.com/misc/kirimurecards.htm.
I am turning over a new leaf.. trying to send more posts. I have several articles that are appearing in magazines (such as the Nov/Dec Issue of Spirituality & Health) in the next couple of months in response to my book, The Incense Bible, so I would like to talk a bit about how to burn Authentic raw incense. This is the difficult part of using raw incense, and is definitely why incense sticks and cones are more popular (because of their convenience). If you would like to know more about what is real raw incense, please visit: www.organo-leptic.com or check out The Incense Bible. But in short, it is the actual resins, leaves, bark or other plant parts themselves, that are dried and burned directly, without synthetic additives, like potassium nitrate (salt peter), or fragrances, synthetic glues, etc. (these things are most commonly found in incense sticks). So, once you find some nice incense resins you would like to burn, how do you burn them? That is what I would like to talk about here. To simply, the options you might choose are as follows:
Charcoal for incense burning comes in different qualities and from different sources. Organo-Leptic.com (my incense store) offers two types. Both kinds are used the same way. The first is larger than the other, and may be easier to hold while lighting. Either type of charcoal should be held with tweezers on one end while lighting, as they get hot quickly! Hold a flame up to the other end of the charcoal until you see a glowing red in the charcoal. Make sure to place the charcoal on a fire-proof surface, as it will get quite hot and may start a fire if you place on wood. Once your charcoal is lit, you may then begin dropping pinches of loose incense (whether resins, bark or leaves) onto the charcoal, and enjoy the smoldering scents.
*Swiftlight Charcoal. This type of charocoal is more common and also more “crude”. You may notice a slight charcoal odor when burning.
*Bamboo charcoals. These are made specifically for incense burning, and are cleaner and more natural. They are also smaller, and more appropriate for small spaces.
2-An “Incense Stove”.
Soon, Organo-Leptic.com will be offering its exclusive candle-powered incense stove, you may make your own stove, or you may find electric incense stoves available from Shoyeido. These stoves are nice because they produce little to no smoke, and cause the incense to burn very slowly, thus releasing the scents very slowly. Incense stoves are particularly good if you are studying scents or if you have asthma or extreme sensitivity to smoke.
3- Other Ideas.
Natural Incense may be burned using other methods. One of my favorites is on a hot rock. If you are sitting around a campfire, a rock that is warmed in the fire may act as a little incense stove on which to burn incense. Do this at your own risk, though, as some rocks explode when placed in fire due to their content of water.
Enjoy experiencing real raw incense in a new way, and please let us know your experiences first hand.
Kerry Hughes & EthnoPharm focus on Product Development, Technical Marketing,New Crops/New Uses and Business Development. EthnoPharm specializes on theinterface between the private and public sectors in the development ofbotanicals worldwide.
I hope to enrich the human experience through the use and stories of plants and other natural products. My dedication is to a more earth-focused vision of how we interact with each other and the plants and animals on this planet to create a better world.