Demand for nutraceuticals could have major benefit for Windsor-Essex

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dave Hall/The Windsor Star

Growth in the local nutraceutical sector could end up supporting similar growth in the area’s agri-business industry, said the chief operating officer of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation.

“In addition to growth within the industry itself, there are also untapped opportunities in our agri-business sector to provide raw materials for this industry,” said Rakesh Naidu. “Industry studies have indicated that as many as 25 per cent of the population currently have a nutraceutical product in their home and that is expected to grow to almost 100 per cent within a dozen years.”

Jamieson Laboratories, Suntrition, NutraNorth and Accucaps are already successfully tapping into that growing market.

But Naidu sees supply chain opportunities becoming a major factor in this region’s diversification efforts.

“One of the challenges facing the nutraceutical industry is to access raw materials of a consistent quality,” said Naidu. “For instance, eucalyptus grown in Germany can be different than eucalyptus grown in Australia because of the difference in soil, growing and environmental conditions.

“And because of our massive greenhouse industry in this region, we have the opportunity to grow these raw materials under optimum conditions which would produce consistent quality,” said Naidu.”If that can be done, we believe companies will pay a premium to access those raw materials.”

Naidu said the nutraceutical industry is tightening quality-control regulations which means that the advantages of production in low-cost jurisdictions is gradually beginning to disappear.

“Canada has a strong brand value which is recognized around the world which gives domestic production  a huge advantage,” said Naidu.