Sustainable Economic Strategies

     Using innovation and regional natural resources, The North Carolina Arboretum Germplasm Repository (TNCAGR) identifies and produces botanical and microbial samples and extracts for researchers to discover, develop and validate natural medicines for human health and wellness. The ultimate goal is to translate these research innovations into sustainable economic advantages for our region. Research that demonstrates the efficacy of WNC botanicals can be used to brand regional grower’s products, support higher raw and finished product price points, establish ancillary processing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution businesses and launch WNC as an international location for botanical medicine innovation. Unlocking the potential of WNC’s extraordinary biodiversity through documented, peer reviewed research, will not only provide data for use in alternative and complementary medical treatment of human disease, but will also tap into international commerce. International ‘natural product sales’ have experienced significant growth for nine consecutive years, with annual sales of $347 billion, of which U.S sales dominate the market at $137.4 billion. Specifically ‘herbal product’ sales account for $28 billion of the  global natural product market with U.S. sales representing $5.6 billion (Nutrition Business Journal. 2013. Vol 18:12).