AUSTIN, Texas (March 6, 2017) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Josef Brinckmann, medicinal plants research fellow at Traditional Medicinals and longtime contributor to ABC publications, is the recipient of the ABC Champion Award for 2016.
The ABC Champion Award was created to recognize individuals who have been outstanding supporters of ABC and have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit educational mission. The generosity of ABC’s friends and members is vital to the nonprofit’s continued success and growth.
“While those of us working in the field are not carrying out the work in hopes of an eventual award, I am deeply appreciative that my life’s work for the sustainable harvesting and rational use of medicinal plants is being recognized by the American Botanical Council,” wrote Brinckmann. “I am genuinely grateful for the opportunities given to me over the years to research and write about the plants in support of ABC’s educational mission.”
Since 1979, Brinckmann has worked for the Sebastopol, California-based medicinal tea company Traditional Medicinals. He joined the company as manager of operations and purchasing, and later served as vice president of research and development and vice president of sustainability. In 2016, Brinckmann became a research fellow for medicinal plants and the botanical supply chain.
Brinckmann is also a frequent contributor to ABC publications, particularly the quarterly peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram. Beginning with issue 90 in 2011, he has co-authored more than 20 herb profiles with ABC Special Projects Director Gayle Engels. Brinckmann has also written numerous feature articles, including the cover story of issue 75 on Peruvian maca and a feature in issue 90 on quality standards for botanical ingredients. Additionally, he has served as a peer reviewer for scores of articles in ABC publications.
“This award could not go to a better recipient. Josef is a true champion of the plants,” said Engels. “I wish that all of ABC’s constituents were aware of how tremendously beneficial his participation is to ABC and its educational mission. I am in awe of his breadth of knowledge and commitment to quality and am honored to have worked with him over the years.”
ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal also praised Brinckmann’s significant and ongoing contributions to ABC. “Previous recipients of this award — my good friends Terry Lemerond and Ed Smith — were acknowledged for their generous donations of their personal funds to ABC to support our unique nonprofit research and educational mission, publications, and programs,” he said. “This year we acknowledge Josef Brinckmann for investing an immense amount of his personal time and energy in providing ABC with his extensive knowledge and global experience to support ABC’s numerous educational publications and programs.”
In addition to his work at Traditional Medicinals, Brinckmann is an international consultant on medicinal plants market intelligence for the International Trade Centre, a founding member of the FairWild Foundation’s board of trustees, a member of the United States Pharmacopiea’s expert committee on botanical dietary supplements and herbal medicines, and an ABC Advisory Board member.
In 2016, Brinckmann was granted an honorary doctorate by the California Institute for Integral Studies for his highly valued and appreciated global work in sustainability of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Previous recipients of the ABC Champion Award include Ed Smith (2015), medical herbalist and co-founder of Herb Pharm, and Terry Lemerond (2014), founder of Europharma, Inc. and Enzymatic Therapy.
The award will be presented to Brinckmann at the 12th annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, California, on March 9, 2017. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.