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| Echinacea Purpurea Herb Market |
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Stephen Campbell
Posted on: February 7, 1999
I have a farmer friend with 17,000 pounds of dried and baled Echinacea purpurea from his Oregon farm. He’s being told there’s no market. Suggestions?
Of course, the person from Oregon should contact me directly, as I live on the Rogue River in Grants Pass. Market price for a certified organically grown (COG) Echinacea purpurea root right now is at $12.00/lb. Further, the pharmaceutical markets are slow right now, mostly driven by advertising and availability. There is no interest at the moment for the herb by-product.
When you referred to the product as baled, this indicated their inventory is probably herb. You should understand that the desired chemistries now considered important in the root do not exist in the herb. In the past, the herb has often been used by manufacturers wanting to boast that their product contains more ingredient in the formula.
It was also used for labeling when the root was in short supply, and a manufacturer had production schedules and markets needing to be filled. When the root was not available, they bought herb. In fact the herb only costs less ($1.75/lb.), and does not really deliver the action associated with Echinacea purpurea root.
There are currently 8 major buyers in Europe, each using more than 300,000 lbs. each year of E. purpurea root. There are 3 major exporters from North America that address these markets, each probably buying up to 450,000 lbs. from cultivated sources.
Because of the high productions expected from Canada this next year, I suspect only COG root will be exported, and at rock-bottom prices. With these price drops, I see little future for the herb, as those markets become less and less credible. With the root in surplus, the herb market needs should drop out completely by next year.