Based out of Thrissur district in central Kerala, about 75 km north of Kochi, Forest Post is an enthusiastic and young social enterprise that sells products made from forest produce such as honey, mango ginger, and wild fern. Their mission is to secure sustainable livelihoods amongst native, forest-dwelling communities in the surrounding Chalakudy and Karuvannur river basins of the Western ghats. They currently work with indigenous women in six villages, and train them in adding value to Minor Forest Produce (MFP), which is then sold through their website.
Why We Love Forest Post
- Forest Post operates on a cooperative model of building enterprises with the communities that they work with. This means that there is shared ownership, and that the profits from the sale of products is shared too.
- Their handmade products like Fern Pickle and Shatavari in Honey are really unique in flavour, texture, and composition. They also sell handicrafts and self-care products made from forest produce like bamboo and beeswax.
- They follow the principle of grassroot-level intervention by bringing together women’s groups and training them in adding more value to forest produce from a market perspective. For example, an ingredient like shatavari once cleaned, processed, and preserved in wild honey not only increases its shelf life, but also its monetary value.
- Forest Post is committed to conservation, and recognises the integral role that Adivasi communities have played, and continue to when it comes to preserving our forests.
- Their postcard-inspired label design and branding captures the nostalgic sentiment of preserving our most cherished traditions.
Note from the Producer
“At Forest Post, our wild food range is a sharing of forgotten foraged foods of forest-dwelling people. Some recipes are borrowed from their culinary practices, while others are more intuitive and fun. We believe that securing sustainable livelihoods among forest-dependent communities can contribute to conservation in the long run.”
— Manju Vasudevan
The Locavore Bite
TL Bite offers a glimpse into how a producer partner runs their operations, and reflects their core principles and values. The idea is to provide insights into their practices, and highlight their various efforts. We have identified seven key areas of assessment – origin and source of ingredients, composition and integrity of the products, workforce policies, production practices, community-related initiatives, approach towards preserving or celebrating traditional knowledge, and the materials used in packaging. We hope this helps you make an informed decision about why you might want to support our producer partners, and the ways in which to.
The information below offers you a snapshot of where Forest Post stands on these parameters. We have put this together based on several rounds of conversation with Forest Post founder Manju Vasudevan and her business partner Sreeja KG. Our founder Thomas Zacharias also undertook a two-day trip to some of these villages in Thrissur to meet with the communities themselves and understand the nature of their work. Click on a piece of the pie below to find out more.
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If you’re interested in learning more about Forest Post, check out our interview with its founder Manju Vasudevan here.
Products We Recommend
How to Buy
Forest Post’s products are available through their website. Due to the seasonality of ingredients, and the attention given to harvesting sustainable amounts of Minor Forest Produce, some products may not be available at all times. If you’re interested in supporting them in other ways, or placing bulk orders, please contact us at email@example.com.