Potted History

  • The company was founded by Paul Chenery, once a published chemist who gave up a life in conventional science to focus on developing a sustainable and natural lifestyle that addresses the environmental and welfare issues of the day, before studying and qualifying as a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

  • 1986: The farm has been farmed organically for over two decades and was a member of the Soil Association in the days when the BBC was in the habit of portraying organic farming as ‘cranky’ and both the National Farmer’s Union and Farmer’s Weekly declared that it was a dangerous threat to world farming! Later we were able to aspire to join the Biodynamic Agricultural Association and eventually becoming Demeter certified growers. Download current copies of our Demeter Certificate here.
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    Planting

    1995: We began by growing herbs for the then two large manufacturers in the UK but, when we didn’t get paid for our labour, we started selling to their customers, the herbal profession.

  • 1996: With the notable exception of Granary Herbs in Kent, when we started making extracts, we were the only herb farm in the UK making (a) farm fresh tinctures or (b) making organic tinctures available. In just ten years, we have been variously derided and then simultaneously copied by the very same firms that derided us loudest. Perhaps ‘often copied but never equalled’ might be a fitting description of our first decade in the business.
  • By 1997, we were making tinctures according to British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and British Pharmacopoeia monographs and selling these to members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and fellow students at the College of Phytotherapy. At this time the farm was both organically certified and UK ‘farm assured’, which was the beginning of a natural progression to cGMP certification.
  • 1998: The small one-man lab opened in a former stable with thin layer chromatography experiments. Over the next decade, this grew to a highly equipped lab capable of most routine phytochemistry and phytopharmacy operations, run by a highly qualified scientist, specialising in R & D of herbal medicines. Due to the origins of our company, we have always felt a moral compulsion to back our claims with scientific evidence and, as a result, we do spend a great deal of money on statistically valid real-time hard research, and publish the results without bias. Our products are scientifically validated at all stages, both of development, and during production.
  • 2000-2004: The business gradually expanded into 1000 sq. metres of existing farm buildings that were progressively converted to medicines manufacture.
  • 2006: Company granted cGMP certification by UK medicines regulator (MHRA). By this time our team had grown to 14, including four farm workers tending 24 acres of herbs, four process workers, two customer service assistants and two scientists plus lab assistant, a warehouseman and a director.
  • 2007: Sales, marketing and distribution was moved to Kingham in Oxfordshire, allowing the farm to focus on the production of herbal medicines. The number of staff gradually shrank to 10. Inflation was rampant and poor weather drove up farm costs.
  • 2008: Manufacture of first 16 licensed herbals and acquisition of some of our own herbal product licenses. A great growing year, despite the wet autumn, with almost everything harvested before the weather broke.
  • 2009: As a result of last year’s successes and further good growing conditions in 2009, we were able to drastically reduce prices at several points during the year. Despite everyone’s efforts, it proved too difficult to maintain the link with Kingham and on 11th September we re-opened our sales office with a super new system designed to improve the prevention of out-of-stocks.

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