West Michigan-based Amway, a direct selling company, has opened a $13 million botanical research center in Wuxi, China, near Shanghai. The facility will be used to study plants associated with traditional Chinese medicine for potential use in Amway’s health and beauty products.
“Our Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements were first formulated after the brand’s founder, Carl Rehnborg, observed how the use of plants and botanicals in China promoted optimal health and natural balance,” says George Calvert, chief officer of global research and development at Amway. “The new (center) is our effort to research and understand Chinese botanicals to a greater extent — using the most advanced technology and scientific practices — and integrate the findings into our products.”
Calvert says the center, a facility that is located amid 84 acres of farmland, has a laboratory and a large greenhouse that will be used for research on soil nutrients, plant physiology, and extract quality standards and processes. Plants associated with traditional Chinese medicine include ginseng, goji, and taro, among others.
Calvert says Amway spent five years researching locations for the site to complement research from the company’s farms in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. He says the company’s Nutrilite products are grown on 6,400 total acres of organic farmland.
Nutrilite products include vitamins, energy drinks, skincare products, and home-cleaning products.
The direct selling company most recently opened a $25 million manufacturing plant in Vietnam in September as part of a $332 million manufacturing expansion.