Sustainability Q&A with Our Peruvian Partners

Transparency & Sustainability

We recently answered the question “Is Palo Santo Endangered” using general research we compiled on Palo Santo. During that time, we also presented our Peruvian partners with specific questions regarding the vulnerability of the Palo Santo THIRD EYE WOOD purchases from Peru, and about how the regulations to protect the species impact their collection practices. We would like to share with you the direct information we received from our partners.

Q&A: with our Peruvian Partners

Q: Where does your Palo Santo come from?

A: The Palo Santo wood in Peru is found in the northern part of our country at the border with Ecuador. There are two provinces where there is Palo Santo; Piura and Cajamarca. In these two provinces the Palo Santo wood is extracted.

Q: How is Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) classified in Peru?

A: The Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture classifies it as a protected species, as for many years others used Palo Santo to make wooden boxes for fruits and now it is considered as a protected species no longer in danger. This also refers to other types of wood that have a control. 

Q: What is the Process for Collecting Palo Santo? 

A: “The requirements to collect the wood are many. In the first place, there exists various Palo Santo communities in which we, as a company, have to speak with the community members with our extraction proposal to see if they want to work with us. If the president of the community accepts, we proceed to make the papers [draw up the contracts] for the extraction, to present to the authority that is responsible for the protection of Palo Santo, SERFOR. (National Forestry and Wildlife Authority)

The procedure is that a forestry engineer does a study of the field of trees, [considers] how much Palo Santo is going to be harvested and according to that, then get the permit. SERFOR takes care of this procedure. These formalities can last up to three months to obtain the permit. Once the permit comes from the community, only then can we harvest the wood under the control and supervision of SERFOR.”

Q: How is Palo Santo sustainably collected?

A: “The trees that we harvest have fulfilled their cycle of life or are dead trees. We don’t cut trees as green trees do not serve as export because they are white and don’t have any aroma; we only collect dead trees. The agreement our company has with the communities [is that] once the company extracts the Palo Santo wood, is the condition that we plant new Palo Santo trees.”

Q: Do you have legal documents confirming that the Palo Santo is legally and sustainably collected? 

A: “We have certificates [stating] that we work conforming to the law and this we send with all our shipments. (Indeed! They do) It is a forestry transport guide that goes with all the documents we send with the shipments.

We have already received this type of concern from various clients in the USA regarding Palo Santo but this is the truth of how we operate with the communities. It is the day to day work. Perhaps this information will be helpful to you.”

Special gratitude to Jacquie Colgan for the translations! Peace and Palo!

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