Overview and Market Outlook
Trainees will see the big picture of market analysis: the history of medicinal herb usage in the U.S. and how traditional Oriental medicine is affecting concepts of use; the present global herbal products industry and how socioeconomic trends can change it; a summary of the recent experience of a group of growers that began marketing herbs directly to practitioners of Oriental Medicine.
Production risk can be mitigated by selecting types of crops (annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees) that fit into an existing operation, by test growing several different species prior to crop selection. To compensate for the lack of production information, study native analog species and inferr production techniques.
Market and pricing risk can be mitigated by defining value-added standards of production, by communicating the presence of valued intangibles to customers, by cooperating with other growers, and through a diversified market strategy.
Financial risk can be mitigated by cautious and careful exploration of this market opportunity: given an existing farm operation, no capital or significantly modifications are necessary to test produce and market a small number of these crops. Diversification of the operation as a whole is necessary to support the long-term development of the Asian medicinal herb market.
Institutional risk can be mitigated through cooperation with other growers and agents of the herbal products market who monitor developments affecting the global industry such as government regulations.
Personal risk is mitigated through careful study and analysis of the industry, including this training program, to assess the appropriateness of this market niche for the grower. Only experienced, established growers with diversified operations who are prepared to deal with calculated risk are good candidates for entry into this market.
After reviewing this module, refer to the Review Questionnaire to reinforce information presented under this topic.
Chinese Medicinal Herbs: Opportunities for Domestic Production
Craker, L.E. and J. Giblette. 2002. Chinese medicinal herbs: Opportunities for domestic production. p. 491-496. In: J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.), Trends in new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Direct Marketing of U.S. Grown Chinese Medicinals
Giblette, J. and C.A. Martin. 2007. Direct Marketing of U.S. Grown Chinese Medicinal Botanicals: Feasibility and Marketing Strategies. In: J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.), Issues in new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Seed The Day
Holm, Matthew. 1996.Research/Penn State, Vol. 17, no. 1 (March). Holistic and natural approaches to seed germination.
References & Basic Reading
A compiled list of reference material for further reading.
Mountain Gardens HerbsMountain Gardens Herbs Website: Offering seeds, plants, and herb products, specializing in Asian herbs.
Divine FarmerTao, Hong Jing, The Divine Farmer's Materia Medica. ISBN: 0-936185-96-1. From Blue Poppy Enterprises. One of three foundation books of Chinese medicine. Referred from Slide #14.
Sonoma County Herb ExchangeA clearinghouse in Sonoma County, California for distributing high-quality locally grown herbs to surrounding communities. Referred from Slide #26.
LocalHerbs.orgSelling domestically and ecologically grown Chinese herbs directly to practitioners of Oriental medicine. Referred from Slide #34