Kava revival: Exclusive distribution deal brings nature’s Xanax to the masses
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
Special Report: The world’s first kava company to list on a global stock exchange, Fiji Kava, has signed an exclusive Australian distributor for the next three years.
Fiji Kava’s (ASX:FIJ) mission to bring nature’s Xanax to the masses is well and truly under way with the company signing an exclusive three-year deal with Pathway International.
The Brisbane based company will supply a minimum of three tonnes of high quality kava extract to the leading vitamin ingredient supplier in the first year of the agreement.
Pathway will distribute the extract to its extensive customer base across the complementary medicine and pharmaceutical industries to be used to create own-brand medicinal kava supplements.
Pathway’s customers include Blackmores, Sanofi, Swisse and Vitaco.
The deal is worth $3.5m over three years for Fiji Kava and CEO Zane Yoshida says it shows the growing acceptance of the product in the alternative therapies industry.
“The large and increasing minimum order amounts under the agreement over the three year term reflects demand for kava as a natural alternative to prescription medications in the treatment of anxiety and other disorders,” he said.
“We are pleased to be perfectly positioned to capitalise on this emerging market.”
The kava plant (Piper methysticum) is a South Pacific plant species and belongs to the pepper family.
It grows to an average height of 180cm and with large heart-shaped leaves.
Fiji Kava, in a true farm-to-shelf operation, only produces Noble kava plant and currently has 111-acre nucleus estate under cultivation in Levuka, Fiji.
Made from the powdered root of the plant, kava’s medicinal properties have long been recognised by the South Pacific Islanders to treat everything from migraines to insomnia.
Recent studies show the plant’s active ingredient, kavalactones, has a number of benefits as a natural alternative to treat anxiety, stress and muscle tension.
Kava bars have become popular in the US offering an alternative relaxant to alcohol.
Fijian-born Mr Yoshida says he’s not surprised the world is waking to the benefits of kava.
“We want to provide a natural remedy to people that are increasingly stressed and exhausted,” he said.
Pathway CEO Wayne Coote says the company is pleased to be able to provide clients with access to the benefits of kava and says there has been strong demand from existing Pathway customers.
“Kava is definitely becoming widely recognised within the pharmaceutical and complementary medicine industries as a natural alternative to a wide range of anti-anxiety prescription medications and we’re excited that this deal allows us to provide kava extract to our customers,” he said.
Fiji Kava plans to conduct human clinical trials to further test the efficacy of its products on a range of medical conditions.