Market Prices Not in Catalogue, Only Trends are Shown
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Tom and Paulette Buckner
Posted on: March 14, 2000

We have your 2000 catolog and have been getting you online newsletter and I have some questions. I love the herb overviews that you have inserted into the catalog, but were can I find what the current market price is for herbs (your overviews mention "volume/price")?

We debated putting actual prices in the market section but decided not to. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that by the time the catalogue gets in the hands of readers the prices will often be out of date. Besides, prices vary considerably depending on what level you are producing at and to whom you are selling. For example, if you sell to an international broker you might get 1/3 the price you might get if you sell to a regional wholesaler. International brokers might take a 20 tonne container-load while a regional wholesaler might only take 100 kilograms.

Also, where we live in S. Central Montana, we have abundant native Echinacea angustafolia (?). I have had it identified by Blessed Herb, I see your comments about misidentified echinacea. Where can I get information on having my plants and seeds inspected and botanically identified? Is there a place in the US?

There is no generally accepted procedure or test for verifying Echinacea. What tests are required and what information is needed is a matter of scientific controversy at the moment. There are people working on chemical and genetic tests, and there are some people who insist that they have tests that are conclusive. However, the market response to these initiatives is still unclear. For now, it is necessary to have several lines of evidence to prove that your plants and seeds are botanically correct. We draw on four lines of evidence to prove the identity of our material -- an expensive thing to do, but we do it because we want to be absolutely sure of what we are selling. With the help of leading specialists we designed our own protocol for botanical identity. There is no laboratory that we know of that addresses Echinacea the way that we have.

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