Trying to Do Better Than $14/lb for Echinacea
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Clint Braune
Posted on: July 29, 2004

I enjoy reading your useful information on botanical herbs, your visions are going to help the herbal market take over the pharmaceutical companies. My family was in the ginseng business until the supply overgrew the demand. This was due to Canada’s major movement towards producing mass amounts of ginseng. Now my father has been cultivating goldenseal and echinacea varietals for the last ten years. He needs me to help him locate direct marketing to the end consumers of the world herbal market. Currently we have a contract with a company out of North Carolina. Personally, [I wonder] if we could find a direct end consumer market; do they exist? Please, help my family’s business get back to making a good and healthy living, or at least better than $14/lb for echinacea.

At $14/lb. For Echinacea angustifolia, you are probably speaking to either US Nutraceuticals (Chuck Wanzer) or Blue Ridge Botanicals (Ray Bowkley) in North Carolina. They are both very large buyers (from Wilcox) and both have competitive sources of supply. That is my current offering COG [certified organically grown] from Alberta productions, as well.

I personally see those prices increasing to $18/lb. this year, but only toward the new season’s crops, COG. And with that, there is no guarantee. This market is still very unstable, but I do see new growth (finally), and demand for new crops (not yet under cultivation). The market ebbs and flows.

Your best is to make a call (541.476.5588), and chat me we about new options and direct. I’m extremely busy myself right now, trying to survive (like the rest of you). Mornings are best for me. If I prove useful, my rate is basically $50/hour on telephone. Be prepared to take notes.

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