“This relates to the fact that we’ve purchased Core Botanica,” Randal Kreienbrink, MartinBauer’s vice president of marketing, told NutraIngredients-USA. “They have contracts with farmers in the Pacific Northwest for mint and spearmint and now we’re expanding that into echinacea.”
Making use of Core Botanica network
Kreienbrink said the contracted farm acreage is located in a number of places along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains from Bend, OR (Core Botanica’s home turf) up to the Yakima Valley in Washington.
MartinBauer, which previously identified itself as the Martin Bauer Group, is a longtime player in the herbal ingredients market. From a beginning 90 years ago in Bavaria by the eponymous founder, the company has grown into a global operation with 20 facilities in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
Preceding the Core Botanica acquisition, MartinBauer had boosted its profile in the supply of botanical ingredients in North America and globally with the acquisition of BI Nutraceuticals, Kreienbrink’s former employer. BI was known as one of the largest companies involved in the trade.
George Pontiakos, chief operating officer at MartinBauer (and another former BI employee) said echinacea is only the first of the company's botanicals that will find their way into the Core Botanica farm network and other growers in North America.
“MartinBauer is pleased to expand and offer new and future crops through our network of local farms throughout North America,” Pontiakos said. “In doing so, we are offering our customers new options for sourcing premium botanical ingredients right here in the US.”
Kreienbrink said the area where the US-sourced echinacea will be grown is similar in many ways to where MartinBauer has been sourcing the ingredient in Europe. So much of the agronomical know-how can easily translate, he said. One difference is rainfall; much of the Pacific Northwest acreage, being on the dry side of the Cascades, is irrigated, he said.
Crop to feature eco-friendly agricultural practices
Pontiakos added that the eco-friendly agricultural practices that MartinBauer has practiced for years will also characterize this new North American echinacea source.
“Our experts, who specialize in local agriculture and raw material specifics, have incorporated an Integrated Pest Management Plan for this pollinator-friendly crop. The Plan protects and sustains the native insects and soil health, while still meeting strict quality requirements,” Pontiakos said.
“Each new product we offer, like the Echinacea purpurea, benefits from our years of hands on experience out in the fields working alongside our growers,” noted Pontiakos. “MartinBauer is committed to meeting the highest global raw material standards in the world through transparent and sustainable management practices,” he added.
MartinBauer’s global headquarters is in Vestenbergsgreuth, Germany, which is near Nuremberg. Its North American headquarters is located in Secaucus, NJ.