Direct selling giant Amway announced the opening of its 86.54 million yuan ($13 million) Amway Botanical Research Center (ABRC) in Wuxi National Hi-tech District (WND), on Oct 23, 2015.
The company will study plants associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at the site for potential future use in its health and beauty products.
Built on 34-hectaresof farmland, ABRC includes an advanced laboratory, and large greenhouse, which will be used for research on soil nutrients, plant physiology, extract quality standards and processes.
"ABRC 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," said George Calvert, Amway's chief officer of global R&D and supply chain.
For three years, Amway examined numerous locations in an effort to find optimal growing conditions that could match the high standards at the company's certified organic farms in Brazil, Mexico and the US.Many of the company's product ingredients are grown on these farms' 6,400 acres, and at certified partner farms.
In addition, the companyalso looked at more than 40 sites in China to grow the plants and conduct research, said Audra Davies, Amway vice president. Eventually, the company chose Wuxi because its location offers a climate ideal for growing many TCM plants. It is also located near a talent pool of top universities and only a two-hour drive west of Shanghai.
The US company trucked in topsoil and compost and reworked the land with large farm machinery imported from the US and Europe.
The establishment of the botanical research center is an essential part of Amway's development strategy in China, said Mike Cazer, Amway's chief operating officer.
He added that ever since Chinese herbal medicine products have become an impetus for health food development around the world, Amway has been focusing on research in the organic farming of TCM.