The Traditional and wild project
Collecting plants and herbs requires certain degree of knowledge, as the collector needs to be able to identify herbs correctly, and also know where to find them. This knowledge was often passed down from generation to generation.
Today, and since the middle of the 20th century, due to urbanization, changes in land ownership and lifestyle this traditional knowledge is being lost. Plant collection that does take place is done in an unsustainable manner leading to the decline of a key
employment for vulnerable groups as it is often an important source of additional income for the Roma ethnic minority, women and the elderly.
Central Europe used to be and still is among the main exporters of products originating from plants – e.g. medicinal and spice plants - to processors in Western Europe. In Europe it is estimated that about 2000 plants are traded commercially, of which 60-70% are natives. Up to 90% of these species are still collected from the wild.