Unigen Pharmaceuticals, a natural products research and development facility and proprietary ingredients supplier, has been restructuring its business over the last 10 years to better serve its customers.
"We call the vertical integration idea our EcoNet. It has been a reality since the early 1990s," said Derek Hall, chief executive officer of Unigen Pharmaceuticals. "Basically, we farm plants and control their cultivation in Korea, Mexico, Russia and Texas, as well as a new location on Hainan Island, China. Some of the products we presently grow on a large scale are Siberian ginseng, soy beans, rice and aloe vera."
Unigen currently operates a 10,000-acre plantation in Vladivostok, Russia, that is the source for some of their proprietary plant materials. This agricultural estate is ideal because of the fertile soil and relatively mild climate.
Hainan Island will soon be home for an aloe vera plantation, the output of which will be earmarked for Unigen's Asian partners. Hainan Island is a resort island and will provide not only a beautiful location for the plantation but is a future site for a resort and spa for customers and partners of the Unigen family of companies, the company said.
There are several advantages to vertical integration including controlling quality from the farmer to the consumer, ensuring constant supply of materials, pricing economies and reducing opportunism and market uncertainty.
"We have highly specialised assets required for our research and development facility and with our frequent need for the materials we use, vertical integration reassures us that we can work with, and in turn provide, a consistent supply of the best ingredients possible," said Hall.
Unigen is dedicated to the discovery of botanically-derived therapeutic compounds that address consumer health needs and help improve the quality of human life. Unigen, and sister company Aloecorp, are subsidiaries of the Unigen Group of companies. Each company focuses on identifying and studying the unique ingredients of medicinal botanicals and then formulating proprietary raw materials for use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products