When Nutrilite™ founder Carl Rehnborg bought his first farm more than 80 years ago—a 3.6-acre plot in California’s San Fernando Valley—he insisted on having the ability to control the growing process of his plants through final harvest.
“On this, there was no debate,” recalls Sam Rehnborg, PhD, Carl’s son and president of the Nutrilite Health Institute. “His goal was to make nothing less than the best supplements for his customers.”
To accomplish that, Carl believed he needed to know where his ingredients came from and that they were grown in a way that ensured nutrient-rich plants while maintaining healthy soils with no chemical-based herbicides or pesticides.
His sustainable farming practices continued to be a driving force as his fledgling company grew into a successful business venture. Nutrilite distributors, including Amway Cofounders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos, would drive their sales teams out to California to witness the farming practices that fueled Nutrilite products.
Those practices remained in place still when Amway acquired the Nutrilite brand in 1972 and with it the Nutrilite farming operations in Lakeview, California. And they came full circle in the 1990s when Amway purchased and began operating what is now four certified organic farms to grow botanicals for Nutrilite and Artistry™ ingredients.
It was an exciting time for Nutrilite, said John Lindseth, who worked for Amway for 30 years and was vice president of Nutrilite operations in the 1990s.
“Amway definitely put forth a significant amount of effort and commitment to the founding principles of Carl Rehnborg, which is to control seed to finished product,” he said.
Carl’s philosophy, which continues today, also includes taking care of the employees. At each farming location Amway invests in efforts to help the community, whether through schools and community centers or access to clean water and health clinics.
And those employees put their heart into their work, Lindseth said.
“When you see a Nutrilite product, you know it has so much depth to it,” he said. “There’s a whole chain of people making it what it is—it’s everyone that works on the farm.”
Today, Amway runs a global agribusiness operation with nearly 6,000 acres of organic farmland in the United States, Mexico and Brazil that produces botanicals for Nutrilite and Artistry products. They, along with the Amway Botanical Research Center in Wuxi, China, serve as testing and research facilities in the company’s never-ending search for new or more effective ingredients.
The farms bring together Carl’s original farming principles with the best of modern, knowledge-intensive, organic farming practices, high-tech, satellite-guided equipment and a focus on traceability. And Nutrilite is the only global vitamin and dietary supplement brand to grow, harvest, and process plants on its own certified organic farms.*
That means researchers can trace the entire journey of a botanical ingredient—from the specially selected seed planted in a specific plot on the farm, all the way to the supplement that sits in a consumer’s cupboard.
“That’s still a huge part of the Nutrilite story,” Lindseth said.
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