Historically, North Carolina anchored Southern Appalachia's status as a natural medicines and pharmaceutical supply region for a wide range of plant-based ingredients like goldenseal, black cohosh, wild cherry, slippery elm, white willow, and many analogs to traditional Chinese herbs like astragalus and ginseng. Raw material ingredient suppliers like Wilcox Pharmaceuticals prospered for many decades.
In the 21st century, parallel with the decline of tobacco, North Carolina-based natural products company revenues now exceed an estimated $500 million. Many are posting year-on-year double-digit growth. Further, North Carolina's university and community college campuses have developed specific domain expertise in botanical research and testing that draw from the state's rich, biodiverse variety of micro-climates and soil types and that translate to premium-quality finished natural products from Western North Carolina.
With so many consumer and practitioner trends supporting locally-sourced, traceable, and sustainably manufactured wellness products, clearly identifying products with the Blue Ridge Naturally™ seal will improve consumer reliability, transparency, and trust with strong scientific backing.
The Blue Ridge Naturally™ Brand is a collaborative effort of Bent Creek Institute, BioNetwork Laboratory, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, North Carolina State University Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, the Small Business Technology and Development Center and the North Carolina Natural Products Association. It is sponsored by Advantage West and the Golden LEAF Foundation.
Continue to learn about the resources available for natural products industry in Western North Carolina here.
Here's a sampling of retailers where you can find Blue Ridge Naturally certified products.