FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NORWAY, IOWA (June 9, 2003) – Frontier Natural Products Co-op of Norway, Iowa, will donate the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs to the non-profit community revitalization group Rural Action on Sunday, June 15. Rural Action will continue the work of the Center to both provide a haven and to develop cultivation methods for traditional medicinal herbs with diminishing wild populations.
Frontier Board President Andy Pauley will officially transfer ownership of the site to Rural Action in a dedication ceremony to be held on the Center's 68-acre site in rural southeastern Ohio. This completes a transition that began in January 2001 when Rural Action reached an agreement with Frontier to manage the land and the research in progress at the Center. Frontier's support for the Center since its inception including the purchase of the land, staffing, equipment and donations totals over $500,000.
Frontier purchased the land and established the Center in 1998. The independent, not-for-profit herb research center and preserve was developed out of the company's concern that the increasing popularity of herbal remedies was threatening the long-term survival of many valuable plants.
The varied terrain and numerous microenvironments of the site provide opportunities to preserve wild populations of many different species. Some of these same herbs are cultivated in other areas of the Center in an effort to develop methods that allow growers to efficiently produce large commercial crops.
Because cultivation provides renewable, expandable supplies of herbs to meet consumer demand, it¯s the key to relieving pressure on wild populations and to ensuring that traditional botanical remedies are available to future generations. Without domestic cultivation, many native North American plants that have been used for centuries as remedies could become rare and unaffordable. Plants valued for their roots where the entire plant is harvested are especially vulnerable and are a priority of the Center¯s research. Ginseng, goldenseal and black cohosh are among the well-known "at risk" herbs studied at the Center.
The domestic cultivation of herbs can also provide alternative, sustainable agricultural opportunities in areas where land is marginal for production of conventional cash crops such as grains. The Center is exploring herb cultivation as a means of sustaining not only herb populations, but the environment and communities as well. "Rural Action, with its commitment to the preservation of the valuable eco-system of the land and communities of Appalachian Ohio, is the ideal steward for the Center," says Frontier's Pauley. "When Frontier purchased the land, Frontier founder Rick Stewart suggested that this kind of direct intervention was necessary to allow our grandchildren to enjoy the benefits of our most treasured botanicals. We are pleased Rural Action will be continuing this effort."
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Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM)
Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM) offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit Frontier's website at www.frontiercoop.com .