Joy and Nioma India

Traditional Medicinals and the Power of Partnerships

Olivia Hayden Supplier Partnerships, Team Member Volunteers 0 Comments

We fund microcredit in India through CASHPOR. Each year, Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteers travel to the field to see where these funds go, how Whole Foods Market suppliers are sourcing product and to work on a community project. For the past two years, groups of volunteers have traveled to the Revive! Project® in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India where Traditional Medicinals works with poor farming communities. Learn what the Revive! Project is about below.

Traditional Medicinals has had the honor of working alongside Whole Foods Market to promote healthy products for nearly 30 years. Recently, we’ve partnered together to help alleviate poverty in herb supplier communities through organic agriculture.

Senna is a natural laxative that we use in our Smooth Move® teas.

Senna is a natural laxative that we use in our Smooth Move® teas.

Over the past decade, Traditional Medicinals has trained eighty small production farmers to grow organic senna, the main herbal laxative ingredient in our bestselling line of Smooth Move® teas. Consistent with our social business goal to develop sustainable supplier communities, we have invested $1,000,000 in these six farming villages, restoring water and food security, health systems, education, and women’s empowerment initiatives.

Whole Foods Market has been a most important and purposeful partner in the Revive! Project.

Nioma Sadler (Traditional Medicinals) and Joy Stoddard (Whole Planet Foundation) with a family who’s benefited from the Revive! taanka building program.

Nioma Sadler (Traditional Medicinals) and Joy Stoddard (Whole Planet Foundation) with a family who’s benefited from the Revive! taanka building program.

Each year, Team Member Volunteers from Whole Foods Market and staff from Traditional Medicinals make a group pilgrimage to this remote area on the border with Pakistan to work together and learn how to best serve these impoverished desert villages. This past October, we visited three of the schools built by the Revive! Project, including one dedicated in honor of Whole Foods Market Board Chairman John Elstrott. Serving 500 children from grades 1-8, we provided new sports equipment to the schools, and Whole Foods Market Team Members worked directly with the students, teaching them the importance of good hygiene through a series of learning activities. Improved community health and increasing literacy are having a profound impact in these Revive! villages.

Women’s self-help group, for market readiness training.

Women’s self-help group, for market readiness training.

Like education, water security is a critical issue in the Thar Desert. In order to provide water for their families, women and girls must walk up to ten hours a day, transporting water on their heads in heavy pots. To ease their burden, we assisted in digging large holes for household water storage tanks (called taankas), which collect rainwater or can be filled by a water tanker. It was heartwarming to hear stories from women who have benefited from the Revive! Project’s taanka-building program. Instead of spending their time gathering water, girls can now attend school, and women can participate in vocational training and self-help, income-generating activities. The vision for sustainable supplier communities shared by Whole Foods Market and Traditional Medicinals is so well-aligned that our work together supporting farming communities and empowering women has become a collaboration of social spirit. To learn more about the Revive! Project, please visit here.

Students at the John Elstrott School in Dayakur.

Students at the John Elstrott School in Dayakur.

Over the past couple of years, Traditional Medicinals has also contributed $100,000 to Whole Planet Foundation through the Supplier Alliance program. These funds are used to support microentrepreneurs in India and around the globe, and this month, during Whole Planet Foundation’s Prosperity Campaign, we will donate thirty cents from every sale-priced box of Traditional Medicinal teas to the Whole Planet Foundation, with a goal of raising up to $25,000 to help meet our commitment. Thank you for your support.

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