The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment

5th May 2022

Expanding SAI Platform’s suite of tools to support all parts of the supply chain.

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SAI Platform’s Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment brings transparency and verifiability to wild harvesting operations, while identifying risks associated with wild collection and helping engage supply chains.

SAI Platform’s Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment (WHSA) provides an industry aligned reference for wild harvesting supply chains and their social, economic, and environmental risks and challenges for sustainable production. The WHSA is applicable to all land-based wild harvesting activities and emphasises reducing risks of human activity to harvested species, other species in harvesting areas, and the ecosystems in which wild harvesting occurs, as well as protecting harvesters and ensuring fair working conditions. 

The WHSA is a stand-alone system that has been informed by SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), other existing wild harvesting systems, and members’ internal sustainability standards. It has been developed with the input of members, verification bodies, and standard owners. 

Wild harvest encompasses ingredients that are gathered from unmanaged or minimally managed areas such as forests, roadsides, along waterways, and the backyards of local community members. Wild harvested ingredients make up smaller portions of the supply chain but are often vital to the end product for their unique flavours and aromas, and these ingredients are often highlighted on product labels.

Development of the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment (WHSA) began in 2018 when a group of SAI Platform members came together to develop a sister standard to the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) for wild harvest. Similar to the FSA, the WHSA uses a suite of tools that encourages upstream buyers to engage on-the-ground operations in conversations around sustainability. These tools include a performance assessment whereby collection points can be verified by an authorised 3rdparty in order to make sustainability claims. 

“Sustainability is core to our business. With the release of the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment, we will be able to verify the on-site practices of segments of our supply chain where we have not otherwise been able to ensure transparency.”

Karolina Śluzek, Sustainability Manager, Doehler. 

The WHSA governance system relies on grouping similarly managed collection points and harvesting operations together at the first-tier aggregator level (though individual collection points can also be verified) and utilising a sampling methodology to determine the number of collection points that will complete the performance assessments and on-site audits. As it develops, SAI Platform will continue to manage its systems in tandem with one another, to ensure alignment and minimise duplication of effort. The WHSA will continue to align closely with the FSA and integrate based on the feedback and needs of our members. 

“SAI Platform members have stepped up to create a recognised standard for high value supply chains with the aim of strengthening relationships, preserving and promoting nature and ensuring the collectors are treated fairly.”

Leah Blechschmidt, Americas Manager and project lead for the development of the WHSA. 

The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment documents are made available by contacting the SAI Platform Secretariat at