I continue to marvel at the innovation that takes place at our farms. To me, it’s a key reason why consumers trust the Nutrilite™ brand. Our farms are an impressive ecosystem that combines thousands of acres of fertile farmland with sustainable organic farming practices. It’s unlike any other in the world. That’s important, especially these days. Why? While others struggle with uncertain supply chains to find in-demand botanicals, we have the ability to leverage our vertical integration.
Our commitment to vertical integration allows us to control the entire process from seed to supplement. In practical terms, this means we can maintain a steady supply of the beneficial botanicals used to make ingredients for your favorite Amway products, including Nutrilite™ supplements and Artistry beauty products. It’s all part of our “Best of Nature” approach inspired by my father’s visionary work. Now, we can add a better variety of chia to the mix thanks to the research efforts at our Rancho El Petacal Farm in Mexico.
A better variety of chia
The chia seed is considered by many to be a “superfood,” mostly for its wide range of phytonutrients, including polyphenols and antioxidants, as well as for its rich content of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. The trouble is traditional varieties tend to be susceptible to diseases and fungus.
So the research team at El Petacal set out to develop a more robust variety by cross-breeding white chia with a traditional chia variety. This was no small feat. The researchers analyzed over 7,800 plants individually to select the best genetic characteristics. Thanks to this meticulous approach, they were able to develop a new variety highly resistant to disease, a variety that yields more seed mass and more seeds than typical varieties.
I am honored that the team named their discovery after my father. Its official name is Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) variety Rehnborg. I’m not sure what inspired them to do so. It may be because of my father’s passion for discovering the best that plants can offer. It may be because he was the founder of the Nutrilite™ brand. It may be because of my father’s commitment to helping people around the world achieve optimal health through good nutrition.
Whatever the reason, it certainly makes me smile because now we have the ability to grow even more of this superfood to make ingredients for Nutrilite™ products.
A chia variety so unique, it’s patent-protected
This new Rehnborg variety of chia is so unique it has been granted a patent in the United States with worldwide patent applications in process. Sharing our innovation in this way has many benefits. First, it helps inspire more research. Second, it strengthens our reputation as an industry leader. Finally, and most importantly, it builds consumer confidence in the Nutrilite™ brand.
Of course, we can leverage this innovation because of our decades-long commitment to vertical integration that starts at our farms.
Our farming philosophy
As many of you know, we grow, harvest and process plants on our own certified organic farms. Today we have nearly 6,000 acres of certified organic farms in Mexico, Brazil and the United States. We have the largest certified organic herb farm in the United States and the largest certified organic acerola farm in the world in Brazil. In short, we know a few things about the right way to scale organic farming.
The Nutrilite™ brand is the only global vitamin and dietary supplement brand to grow, harvest and process plants on their own certified organic farms.*
Taking our farming philosophy around the world
In addition to our own farms, we have expanded our growing capabilities through our NUTRICERT® program, which began in 2004. Through this program, we partner with farmers around the world who have values similar to ours. In this way, we are able to grow plants with newly discovered phytonutrients that would not flourish on our own farms.
It’s a partnership that benefits everyone involved. Farmers benefit financially by learning to grow crops using the high standards of our NUTRICERT® Program. This, in turn, helps invigorate the local communities. We benefit by expanding our supply chain in a controlled way without compromising quality. Finally, consumers benefit as we are able to meet the ever-increasing demand for Nutrilite™ products.
Through our own farms and NUTRICERT® farms, we control every step from seed to finished product. We can trace a plant back to the farm where it was planted and grown.
Our farming practices in action
Our farming practices are just one of the many ways we can promise purity, safety and effectiveness in all our products. But I believe this is a key reason why the Nutrilite™ brand is ideally suited for today’s consumers, consumers who need products they can trust to fuel their nutrition.
Growing a plant organically not only assures it is free of pesticides and other contaminants, but it increases the level of phytonutrients it contains. When a plant is grown in an organic environment, it has to produce its own defenses, which it does by producing phytonutrients. By closely monitoring plants, we are able to harvest them when their phytonutrient content is at its peak. And, by processing plants at our own facilities, we can control every step of production.
I’m excited to follow the new Rehnborg variety of chia as it is cultivated, harvested and processed under the watchful eyes of our experts. I’m especially excited to see it reach millions of health-conscious consumers as part of Nutrilite™ brand supplements. Stay tuned.
* Euromonitor International Limited, wwww.euromonitor.com/amway-claims
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