About the author

Charlene Hosemans is the wife of Australia's first ginseng grower, Fred Hosemans. She is the foundation and current secretary of the Australian Ginseng Growers Association Inc (see Key contacts for address). Charlene has been an invited presenter at major overseas ginseng conferences including IGC 94, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; ICG 95, Harbin, China; the New Crops Conference, Gatton 1996; New Zealand Ginseng Seminars, 1997; IGC 99, Hong Kong; and was Conference Chair for IGC 2003, Melbourne.

by mechanical methods, again depending on the chosen growing method. Mechanical harvest is done with modified potato or bulb diggers. After harvest, roots are sorted, removing damaged or spoiled roots to avoid a reduction in sale price.

For dried-root sales, each day's harvest is washed, loaded onto mesh trays and placed on the bottom rack in the drying area. Each successive day's harvest is added at the bottom level, with previous trays moved up in sequence. Roots can be air dried in a temperature-controlled heated building or in a kiln if quantities are larger. Dried roots are stored and transported in cardboard barrels and require dry-atmosphere storage. Correctly dried roots can be stored indefinitely.

Fresh roots need to be harvested as close to sale as possible. They are washed and packed in a growing medium, such as peat moss, for transportation. Fresh roots are stored under refrigeration and are marketable only during the dormant period.

Security measures should be taken to guard against theft of harvested, stored and transported roots.

Ginseng products need to comply with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Act and must be manufactured and sold under special Australia List numbers (Aust L. No.). Consultants licensed under the Therapeutic Goods Act can prepare a listing application for approval, although it is possible to do it yourself. Once an AustL No. has been granted it must appear on all packaging of the product.

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) the United States Government has listed Panax quinquefolius on Schedule 2. Therefore, a CITES permit needs to be obtained from Australian Wildlife Protection before any whole root product is exported, even though the roots are cultivated in Australia. This rule does not apply to export of P. ginseng.

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