Looking Back on 25 Years
Viana Muller, Ph.D.
Almost three decades ago, while studying indigenous botanicals in Peru, I first learned about Maca, and experienced its powerful benefits firsthand. I was so impressed with this botanical’s incredible properties that I made it my mission to bring high-quality, properly prepared Maca to the U.S. market.
It feels just like yesterday when the cofounder of Whole World Botanicals, Elena Rojas Martinez, and I were getting started. But now, we’re celebrating 25 years in business!
Introducing Maca to the U.S. market was just the start of a profoundly meaningful journey. Along the way, Elena and I learned about other extraordinary botanicals that have been beloved for centuries by the Indigenous people of Peru but were unknown in the U.S. Today, our line of nine different Peruvian botanicals includes 50 different products – from potent powders and convenient capsules to pure liquid extracts and teas. And, all of our products are either certified organic or wildcrafted.
A Shared Mission
Early on, Elena and I shared our goals and vision for the company and agreed on a mission. I’m proud to say that our mission remains unchanged, and we live it every day:
- To buy medicinal plants directly from the local, Indigenous people who grow or collect them whenever possible, and to practice fair trade with them.
- To be a positive force for environmental protection of both the native habitats and the communities of the Indigenous people who cultivate and wildcraft our products.
- To provide funds and technical support to our Indigenous providers for community projects, chosen based on the priority of local leaders.
- To offer the purest organic and sustainably wildcrafted botanicals, grown by people with strong roots in their native soil and Indigenous culture.
- To provide knowledge and information about these medicinal herbs to people and assist them in taking charge of their own health.
A Company of Firsts
Looking back, we’re so honored to be able to say that Whole World Botanicals is a company of firsts! We are the first company to…
- bring Maca to the U.S. market in 1994
- sponsor publication of scientific research on Maca (Townsend Letter 1998)
- bring Desmodium ascendens (amor seco) to the U.S. market in 1999
- get USDA Organic Certification for Maca in 2000
- bring gelatinized Maca to the U.S. market in 2004
- bring Abuta (Curarea tecunarum) to the U.S. market in 2006
- commit to fair trade, equitable relationships, and multigenerational partnerships with Indigenous Peruvian growers and collectors and their communities
We’re also among the first to bring Camu-Camu (1995), Cat’s Claw (1989), and Chanca Piedra (1991) to the U.S. market!
Our Social Mission
Throughout our 25-year history, Whole World Botanicals’ values have been based on fair trade, friendship, and respect for the traditions and communities of our Indigenous Peruvian partners in the Amazon rainforest and Andes mountains.
As part of our commitment to these values, we have offered financial assistance, including interest-free loans and grants, as well as technical support the establishment of small businesses in Peru. We have implemented several social mission projects to help our partner communities, including advancing their organic growing and sun-drying techniques, solar energy projects, and solarium construction for drying Maca roots and growing fruits and vegetables year-round.
We’ve also introduced solar cooking to our partner communities, and held solar cooker construction workshop so our communities could build their own solar cookers. Among some of our other social mission projects, we have provided school supplies to children in remote rainforest villages, outfitted an entire Indigenous soccer team with shoes and uniforms, and provided top-rated water filters and taught local women – “Water Women” – how to use these filters to provide a clean supply of drinking water for their communities.
A Heartfelt Thank You
With hearts overflowing with gratitude, Elena and I want to say thank you for 25 years!
Everything we’ve been able to do – everything! – is thanks to you, our loyal customers.