Vidya Herbs inaugurates first U.S. manufacturing facility
"This is the first of many projects in the U.S. with the vision of establishing ourselves as one of the world’s finest manufacturers of ingredients for the dietary supplement, food and beverage markets,” Chandra Sekhar, vice president at Vidya Herbs, told NutraIngredients-USA.
Sekhar attended the May 15 ribbon cutting along with his brother, Vidya Founder and President Shyam Prasad, Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson, and Florida’s Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella.
The addition of the 20,000-square-foot Bunnell facility is the latest move in the Vidya Herbs commitment to ongoing global expansion. Established in 1999 in Bangalore, the company has some 15 manufacturing sites in India, including herbal and spice extract facilities and a more recent probiotics plant. It is also one of India’s top coffee exporters and has offices in seven countries around the world from Dubai, UAE to Villebon-Sur-Yvette, France to Red Bank, New Jersey.
The newest facility, which broke ground three years ago, comes complete with a state-of-the-art supercritical CO2 extraction process that can achieve pressures of up to 1,000 bar. It has the capacity to produce over 300MT of finished extracts and will be used primarily to process saw palmetto berry, grown locally in Florida and Georgia.
“There is a high demand for farm-to-finished product with transparency and sustainability in the U.S., and thus we anticipate a rising demand for saw palmetto,” Sekhar said.
He added that all raw materials will be of US origin to produce purple potato, citrus and algae extracts, in addition to the saw palmetto.
Headquartering in Bunnell
Vidya Herbs’ decision to establish its Florida headquarters in Bunnell (population 3,275 as of the 2020 Census) was driven by the town’s strategic location on Florida’s east coast, easy access to transportation networks, thriving agricultural community, and generous business incentives program.
"We are thrilled to welcome Vidya Herbs to Bunnell and the state of Florida," said DiBella. "We are confident that Vidya Herbs' commitment to quality and sustainability will contribute to the growth of our vibrant herbal extracts industry. We look forward to supporting their success and witnessing the positive impact they will have on our community."
Vidya Herbs says that it expects to create 75 to 100 employment opportunities in Bunnell over the next 1.5 years, contributing to economic growth and working with local educational institutions and community organizations to develop talent and support the broader community.