Press release: Healers PetCare, Inc.
Terri Entler founded Healers in 2009, creating her own dog first aid and safety product line that improved upon the limited available options. The company has since partnered with other women-owned operations in the Pacific Northwest to offer additional pet health remedies, joining forces with Healing Tree Naturals and Biolley Farms in 2018.
“Most companies can’t tell you the name of the farmers from whom they buy their ingredients,” Entler said. “Biolley’s owner, Jennifer Long, and I go back 40 years. We are both committed to growing our businesses, but at the same time giving back and empowering women.”
Healers is expanding its Biolley Farms partnership. The Costa Rica-based natural farm not only cultivates organic crops like arabica coffee, black pepper, papaya leaf tea and turmeric, but also provides educational and employment opportunities to farmers in one of the poorest regions of the country. It aims to turn local farms into organic food forests and has turned its focus toward protecting the local rainforest.
“Purchasing Healers products now means you are supporting conservation,” Entler said. “You’re also promoting women-owned businesses, and empowering women and other farmers in the region to earn livable wages so they can support their families.”
The efforts focus on an area next to the largest international protected rainforest in Central America, La Amistad International Park, in a remote, southern region of Costa Rica. The heart of the project is Biolley in Buenos Aires Puntarenas, Costa Rica, on a farm called Finca Lilo.
“Finca Lilo is a model farm, and we’re regenerated the soil on the property and in the different lots where we’re cultivating,” Long explained. “We’re creating food forests in the rainforest through permaculture and biointensive farming, and recently branched out to bring on five more women farmers. We’re centering our focus on women who need extra income and giving them that empowerment to cultivate with us. What we’re cultivating is medicine.”
Rainforest-interrelated crops are used for medicinal purposes and grown under the purest conditions. The organization aims to help give farmers income to survive and aid them in developing their individual microbusinesses to ensure they generate profits.
“Our goal really is to make sure that the farmer gets the price for the product, which includes the human energy, the resource and profits, above all,” Long said. “This will allow them to continue to farm, cultivate and continue their way of life doing things they’re already familiar with. It won’t force them to sell their land for next to nothing to industrial farmers who are really chomping at the bit to buy up those farms, which will only create more poverty and a worse situation for all of us on the planet.”
Industrial farming practices are creating disaster zones, she added, leaving regions that are already resource-poor worse off. The international initiative is looking for help with land acquisition to protect against such operations, many of which are illegally purchasing land directly next to protected rainforests.
“The rainforest itself is a very special place on the planet,” Long said. “It’s home to four percent of the world’s biodiversity. It’s a very special place, and we’d like to protect it. It’s still pristine. It still has a chance. It’s a corner in the world all of us can save.”
Purchasing products from other Biolley farmers who work in alliance with Finca Lilo gives consumers potent natural medicines, keeping users healthy while also giving cultivators much-needed jobs.
“By buying our golden paste, our customer is receiving a product that has been tested to be high in curcumin levels and produced in a non-polluted region with very rich soil,” Entler said. “Healers then shares the profit with the farm, enabling it to reinvest in education, empower women and provide a better quality of life for the farmers.”
Additional Healers products will soon be created from other Biolley products, creating a better network of stability for those who grow and harvest the natural ingredients.
“We are creating a product roadmap that will use additional ingredients from this region that are excellent for pet health,” Entler said. “The more we can buy from Biolley, the greater the profits and the more investment goes into saving the rainforest and the land from industrial development. It also enables a better life for the families in the region. It’s a win-win for everyone.”