A New Chapter in Sourcing… India
Certified B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems—the “B” stands for benefit. As a certified B Corp, New Chapter believes that appropriate sourcing of ingredients is one of our most important jobs. (Visit our blog for videos of our latest India journey!)
The Path of Right-Sourcing
People sometimes ask why we don’t source our botanicals locally in Vermont. The truth is, we travel the globe to seek the best quality ingredients for our premium products. Why is that? For one thing, New Chapter does not formulate with just synthetics or chemical isolates. We diligently seek the best source for each whole herb so we can deliver Nature’s full profile of beneficial compounds to you.
Turmeric, the “King of Herbs” and a favorite ingredient in many New Chapter products, is native to rainy tropical climates like southern India. It simply could not grow as well in New England. So it makes sense that New Chapter sources Turmeric from where it’s meant to grow and where it thrives—the tropics, including India. India is also a source for our Ginger and Holy Basil, because that’s one of the places where they grow best. We’ve even been to visit some of these farmers in India, such as Ganapathy Shetty who grows Turmeric.
We’re also inspired by the traditional uses of herbs in the places where they’re cultivated. Our team of formulation experts, led by New Chapter’s Founder and Master Herbalist Paul Schulick, has great respect for the 5000-year-old tradition of Ayurveda, in which Turmeric, Ginger, and Holy Basil (Tulsi) are essential for nourishing body and soul.
Part of conscientious sourcing is supporting positive social impact in the communities that provide our premium ingredients. It’s vital that we help ensure our farmers are well cared for.
Some of the programs that New Chapter supports in India include:
- Rainwater harvest training—teaching skills and providing equipment so farmers can conserve water to fulfill their irrigation needs independently
- Schooling and school uniforms for orphans and low-income children—providing access to good education
- Biodiversity program—supporting healthy ecosystems and providing additional income by distributing saplings for farmers to intercrop with their other plants
Benefitting the Planet
At New Chapter, we believe that organic agriculture is crucial for the future of Mother Earth. Much more than a “campaign,” supporting organics is the heart and soul of who we are. That’s why New Chapter seeks out organic vegetables and herbs whenever possible. For example, you’ll find our multivitamins are third-party certified made with organic vegetables and herbs.
When it comes to our suppliers in India, organic is a big deal too… maybe that’s why we get along so well. For example, one of our partners offers programs that include:
- Facilitating farmers in converting from conventional to organic—including subsidizing certification
- Coordinating third-party inspections from internationally accredited organic certifiers
- Teaching natural pest control practices
- Teaching vermicomposting techniques (composting using worms) and providing additional organic compost when needed
The process of converting a farm to organic takes at least three years, but farmers tell us it’s worth it! We visited this supplier in the state of Karnataka, India, to see the process for ourselves. In the last three years, almost 600 farms have enrolled in the conversion program, and plans are to add up to 1000 more in the next 3 years. After transitioning to organic, yields are lower at first, but with proper management of water and soil yields can grow to be the same as—or more than—they were conventionally. In addition, farmers tell us that some costs are lower than with conventional farming, so their take-home profit can actually be higher—which helps to improve their quality of life.
Delivering the Wisdom of Nature… Sourced Globally, Rooted Locally