Ecuadorian Rainforest: Branching Out
Ecuadorian Rainforest, West Paterson, NJ, was founded in 1995 to be the marketing representative for South American farmers. Throughout the years, according to Steve Siegel, vice president, the company has maintained solid relationships with farmers in Ecuador and other parts of the world. It is these relationships that have made it possible for the company to offer its customers access to a wide variety of high quality, natural raw materials from the rainforest.
Since its inception the company has expanded its product line to include a whole range of ingredients beyond those found in South America. Currently it offers organic herbs, herbal powders and powder extracts, along with vegetables, fruits and marine products. Some of the major products that the company handles are maca, hoodia gordonii, yerba maté, camu camu, cat’s claw, catuaba, muira puama, ginseng, ginkgo and ginger. In total, the company stocks approximately 1000 ingredients.
Mr. Siegel says Ecuadorian Rainforest built its business under the influence of natural healing. “The company was formed under the leadership of Marlene Siegel whose Ecuadorian upbringing involved the use and application of natural remedies,” he said. “Her family had deep roots in using herbal medicines and natural methods of healing, and she wanted to bring the benefits of those modalities and ingredients to the U.S.”
At the present time, Ecuadorian Rainforest is in the process of expanding. In February it will make its home in a new facility in a neighboring town in New Jersey. This building is much larger than the one it occupies currently. “The expansion will allow us to add more staff and restructure the organization to fit our new goals,” said Mr. Siegel. “We are really excited because everything will be state-of-the-art, from the digital broadband phone systems to our custom-made database and ordering system, which will facilitate faster processing and quotes.”
As for the state of the industry, Mr. Siegel commented, “The nutraceuticals industry remains very complex. That said, it has a lot of potential due to the healthcare crisis facing this country right now.” Mr. Siegel also underlined the importance of regulations. “Regulations and policies need to be created, and more importantly, enforced,” he said. “We as an industry need to make sure that whatever products are released to the consuming public are at the very minimum safe.”
As for Ecuadorian’s future, Mr. Siegel offered, “I definitely see a lot of growth for us and a lot of expansion into areas that would not necessarily be synonymous with our name,” he said, adding, “I also believe there is potential for us to expand into Eastern Europe now that a lot of those countries have joined the EU.”—R.M.W.
1265 McBride Avenue
West Paterson, NJ 07424