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On-line Resources

Associations for People in the Industry
American Botanical Council-national non-profit dedicated to educating people about medicinal herbs.  Publishes HerbalGram.
American Herbal Products Association-a national industry association that stays on top of issues important to herbal businesses.  The association provides a wealth of valuable information for everyone associated with herbal products.
Natural Products Association-this business association represents the industry on a national scale and provides valuable information about the industry and advocates for the industry. 
North Carolina Herb Association-this commodity group serves the herb industry in North Carolina through a summer conference, directory, good website, and networking opportunities.
North Carolina Natural Products Association-this non-profit serves the natural products industry in Northy Carolina, providing educational programming and networking opportunities.
Commercial Farming and Growing
Analysis of the Economic Viability of Cultivating Selected Botanicals in North Carolina-a 2003 report that examined the current and future markets for a number of herbs that can be grown in North Carolina.
Good Agricultural and Collection Practices-provided by the American Herbal Products Association.  Following these guidelines will help to make your product more attractive to buyers, safer for consumers, and better for the stewardship of native plants.
Guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices-provided by the World Health Organization. 
Medicinal Herbs for Commerce Project-this was a four year, grant funded project led by Jeanine Davis. This link takes you to the decision making tools and lots of information for people who want to grow medicinal herbs on a commercial scale.
NCHerb.org-Jeanine Davis' NC State University webpage with links to information on growing and marketing medicinal herbs, hops, vegetables, organics, and a wide variety of specialty crops.
General Information on Medicinal Herbs & Natural Products
HerbalGram-the Journal of the American Botanical Council.  Contains research articles on herbs, news within the industry, market reports, and book reviews.  Emphasis on the therapeutic value of herbs.
Grants, Loans, and Small Business Assistance
AdvantageGreen/AdvantageWest-a economic development organization serving western North Carolina, this is a direct link to the natural products sector information.
Carolina Farm Credit-offer loans and other financial services for farm businesses.
FSA-provides access to many federal farm programs.
Mountain BizWorks-this organization provides support to new small businesses; business plan preparation, advising, and loans for up to $100,000.
RAFI-USA-Rural Advancement Foundation International provides grants to farmers in the mid section of North Carolina.
SBIR-Small Business Innovation Research Program provides grants to small businesses with big ideas.  Highly competitive, but there are some natural products businesses that have been successful.
Small Business Technology and Development Center-a tremendous resource for someone just starting, or looking to improve their small business in North Carolina.  Annice Brown in the Asheville office works specifically with the natural products industry.
Southern SARE-Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program offers grants for farmers (western North Carolina farmers have been very successful getting these).
Industry Updates, Trends, Figures, and Local Resources
New Hope 360-digital marketplace for suppliers, manufacturers, and everyone interested in following natural products industry trends.  This site gives you access to the online versions of Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Living, Nutrition Business Journal, and other relevant publications.
North Carolina Biotechnology Center-this is a direct link to their listing of bioscience companies in North Carolina.  Many of them are natural products businesses.
North Carolina Chamber-this is a direct link to the list of all the Chambers of Commerce in North Carolina.  This is one way to find the natural products businesses in your community
Nutrition Business Journal-one of the best sources of information on industry trends, value of the industry, and important issues for the whole nutrition industry.
Organic Trade Association-this site has all kinds of information about organic agriculture and food for the U.S. and Canada, but is particularly useful in this context for their market information.
Marketing Information and How to Find Buyers
HerbWorld-a wealth of information on running an herb business and contains a great directory of herb businesses for networking and study.
Plant Identification
USDA Plant Database-lots of information and photos to help identify plants, where they grow, etc.
Product Manufacturer Resources
Bionetwork Natural Products Laboratory-this facility provides testing services for growers and manufacturers, lab rental space, and other services to help you develop the highest quality products.
Natural Products Manufacturing Facility-part of Blue Ridge Food Ventures and located just outside of Asheville, NC, this is probably the only commercial scale, shared use facility in the U.S. where small businesses can manufacture their own natural products under GMP approved facilities.
Rules and Regulations
CITES-Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  The international laws you need to know about if you are working with any threatened or endangered species, such as ginseng and goldenseal.
North Carolina Plant Conservation Laws & Regulations-this is the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services site with all the rules and regulations concerning ginseng and threatened and endangered plants.  Before you wild-harvest or grow any native plant, you should read over this information.
Collection to Commerce-Western North Carolina Non-timber Forest Products and Their Markets. This 2003 report examined six natural products collected from the region's forests, including ginseng, black cohosh, and bloodroot.
Fair Wild Standards-FairWild Foundation's standards for the sustainable management and trade in wild-collected natural ingredients for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries.
Good Agricultural and Collection Practices-provided by the American Herbal Products Association. Following these guidelines will help to make your product more attractive to buyers, safer for consumers, and better for the stewardship of native plants.
Good Wildcrafting Practices-from Royal Roads University in British Columbia.
Guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices-provided by the World Health Organization.