A problem that’s been going on recently is unobserved state of 3rd world harvesters who provide us with invaluable resources. Perfumers and incense lovers among us can especially relate since the harvesters provide us with are integral ingredients. Such as gums, resins, and animal products for making incenses, Musk, Attars, and herbal medicines. What’s happening is that the economic status of these 3rd world harvesters is so dire that they are forced to overharvest resources to extinction. Whether it is Frankincense and Myrrh plants, or beavers and civets, the increasing demand is met with a dwindling supply.
And the harvesters are so bad off that they can only afford to use the money for the survival of themselves and their families, and therefore cannot re-invest in the propagation and ecological sustenance of the ancient plants and animals that make their trade.
To get you an idea, there used to exist more than 60 millions beavers in North America, but know there are less than 12 to 6 million. Similarly, the Frankincense & Myrrh plants we cherish for medicinal benefits and exotic fragrance will most likely be decimated in the next 50 years or so if current trends continue.
The problem stems from the fact that the middle man takes a ruthless capitalist approach when buying from the harvesters. These business men pitch the harvesters to compete with each other to sell their goods for the least amount, and even take their product without payment. And when the corporate middle men do pay the harvesters, they mark up the product to a ridiculous proportion. The Harvesters and their communities are only receiving a sliver of money for their back-breaking hard work. Where the $100 we pay for the Frankincense EO, the harvesters only gets pennies.