Amway broke ground Wednesday on a $10-million botanical research center in Wuxi, China, near Shanghai. The project is in addition to a $375 million manufacturing and R&D expansion by Amway that will include seven new sites, four of which will be in the United States.
The Ada-based company chose Wuxi as the site of the newest facility — its second R&D center in China — based on its soil, climate, and surroundings. The facility will serve as a site for agricultural research on plants used in traditional Chinese medicine with the goal of incorporating developments into global launches of nutrition and beauty products. It will include approximately 120 acres of farmland as well as labs for research and testing.
The agricultural component of the center will expand Amway’s global focus on organic, sustainable farming practices. The company already operates organic farms, totaling more than 6,400 acres, in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
In addition to the Wuxi site, the company is in the midst of a global expansion that includes facilities in India, China, and Vietnam as well as the U.S. that will support the company’s Nutrilite brand. The projects include a $24 million plant in Ada, that was recently completed and created 50 jobs; a $42 million granulation facility in Buena Park, Calif.; and a $38 million processing plant in Quincy, Wash.
Founded in 1959 by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, Alticor/Amway is the world’s leading direct selling business, ranked by 2012 global sales of $11.3 billion in the Direct Selling News Global 100. Combined the companies have more than three million Amway distributors and more than 21,000 employees in more than 100 countries and territories.