Health supplements new market opportunity for growers

There’s a new market on the horizon. Some greenhouse grown products might be right for use in vitamin products, supplements or
cosmetics. The Australian company Sampano is on the lookout for growers who might be interested in this.

Vitamins, health supplements and body care products
“Nutraceuticals contain ingredients isolated from foods that provide health benefits. They are generally sold as vitamins, minerals, health supplements, baby nutrition and cosmetics. The nutraceutical sector is growing rapidly both domestically and in export sales”, Adrian Spencer with Sampano explains. “This growth is projected to continue, especially off the back of exports to China and the broader Asian market.” 

And that’s where the opportunity for growers can be found. Currently virtually no ingredients are sourced locally and the value chain for the nutraceutical industry doesn’t exist in Australia. “Nowadays the raw ingredients used in the manufacture of vitamin tablets, capsules and so on, are imported to Australia”, says Adrian. “There are many crops we have an abundance of in Australia, that can become a nutraceutical. There are often large quantities discarded as waste. We believe that some of these imports can be replaced with locally grown and refined inputs.” 

Sampano formed partnerships with science agency CSIRO, vitamin supplement supplier Swisse and Naturex, specialising in plant-based natural ingredients. Now they want to connect growers to these buyers. 

This can either be greenhouse grown or produce from the open field. “It’s relevant to both type of growers. Some of the ingredients that are currently imported, that we would like to replace, may be better suited to growing in a greenhouse. Greenhouse production may also allow us to have more year round availability. But that said, we are happy to source from both.”

Products that are currently on their search list include tomatoes, blackberries, various fruits and herbs and flowers as cammelia japonica, hops and geraniums. The complete list can be found here. “But even if you’r not growing any of these products, we might still be interested.

The industry is still in its infancy and Adrian has quite some work to do. “It includes identifying producers and regions to source ingredients, and giving their feedback on to guide investment decisions such as where to locate extraction and processing plants. . We’re aiming to build an Australian Value Chain for the Nutraceutical Industry.” 

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