Gaia Herbs/Aboca USA reinforce vertical model with distribution deal

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United states

The line between ingredient supplier and formulator has been
blurred in the distribution agreement between Gaia Herbs and Aboca
USA (a subsidiary of Italian Aboca Spa) – who claim the new deal
will make them the world's largest collective offering of organic
herbal supplements.

The two vertically-integrated herbal manufacturers control their production processes from field to finished product, which they say allows them to ensure the organic integrity of their supplements. Gaia's 250 acres of organic farmland are situated in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, while Aboca's 1,800 acres of organic farmland reside in Tuscany. This cross-Atlantic marriage highlights the issue of how best to reflect quality control and organic integrity in an industry where companies generally focus their resources on a particular strength or stage in the line of production, and are forced to source their raw materials elsewhere. Both Gaia and Aboca are long standing players in the herbals sector, operating for 20 and 30 years respectively. Aboca works with over 20,000 pharmacists and 5,000 herbalists in Europe, while Gaia Herbs caters to more than 2,000 natural products retailers and 1,500 healthcare professionals in the US.​ As part of current agreement, Gaia Herbs is set to be the exclusive distributor and marketing partner of Aboca's products in the US. In addition, this partnership involves co-branding, as Aboca packaging will feature 'distributed by Gaia Herbs'. This year, Gaia plans to increase production capacity at its facilities by adding higher-volume extraction and concentration equipment.

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