Farming for Vitamins

Image Adrian - Sampano CEO

$1.1 Billion worth of ingredients are imported annually into Australia by contract manufacturers for use in products made for the Nutraceutical Industry. These imports become the raw ingredients in vitamins, health supplements and skincare products for a local burgeoning industry that continues to grow both domestically and overseas.

Supply Chain - Sampano

The question being asked by industry and government, is why these ingredients can’t be sourced from Australia. With the support of the Victorian Government, Melbourne based firm Sampano Pty Ltd has been attempting to answer this question, recently completing an 18-month long investigation.

CEO and Founder, Adrian Spencer noted “The purpose of this research is to allow us to plan the creation and coordination of an educated and cohesive market for all players, to understand how this industry should operate and to provide the opportunity for those interested, to participate.”

The report, which has now been released as a roadmap for establishing the value chain for the nutraceutical industry, considered agronomy modelling, grower mapping and site visits to interview growers. The results outline the key steps that need to be taken to allow participation in the value chain.

Adrian is clearly buoyed by the positive results of this research and stated that “We believe many of these imports can be replaced with locally grown and processed inputs – it’s just a matter of time and most growers can’t wait to get started.” Furthermore, the results showed strong demand from the marketers and manufacturers to buy locally grown inputs. In some cases, even when the local costs are higher than imports.

Sales Revenue - Sampano

So what about the hurdles and next steps. Currently, there is no real coordination across growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers. Education, connection and support are required, as well as more extractive processing facilities. Sampano is already working with industry partners, government and research institutes to build the tools and supply the knowledge needed for the next steps.

The vision for Sampano in very personal to Adrian, having started his first part time job as a farm hand while studying science at a regional university. Here he learnt firsthand the effectiveness of having options when farming. “I was privileged to work on a diversified farm near Stanley, in North East Victoria, with visionary owners that saw the benefit of accessing different markets to reduce risk and were willing to trial new opportunities. I now want to provide similar opportunities to anyone interested in tapping into this new market.”

For more information the full roadmap can be downloaded from the Sampano website. You can also hear Adrian speaking at Global Table in Melbourne from 3-5 September.