From the President's Desk
The past several months have seen a lot of growth with Plandaí. We’ve met many of our goals and been delayed on others. This recap explains where I see the company presently and sets forth the milestones we hope to achieve over the next six months.
Where we are today –
We currently have about 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of tea that is “harvest ready.” From where the Senteeko estate was two years ago, this is a miracle. The entire estate was overgrown with weeds and bushes and the tea had grown wild. The roads and bridges were in complete disrepair and there was no suitable worker housing. As you can see from the photos and video, most of the tea has been cut back and fertilized, the weeds removed, and the roads fixed. We’ve also rehabilitated housing for over 300, which allows our farm and factory management to live on site along with the workers.
One of our greatest accomplishments is the completion of our production facility on the Senteeko estate. As the photos suggest, this was a massive but necessary undertaking as our science requires that we use live tea in our process. The 20,000 sq. ft. facility is fully automated and capable of producing 10 tons of extract per month of pharmaceutical-grade Phytofare™ tea and citrus extract at capacity. We expect this facility to come online this summer once everything has been validated and tested. We’re hiring and training the necessary operational staff, so we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
On the science front, we’ve recently announced a successful test of our Phytofare™ Catechin Complex in topical form for anti-aging applications. We also started our oral bioavailability trial which will lead us into our human clinical trials for weight loss and other health and wellness areas. And, once the production facility is operational, we will need to reconfirm our science by testing for purity and isomeric reconfiguration using the finished product.
What to Expect –
Our six month time table is exciting as a lot will be happening. Customer sales will commence and we will have the results from our bioavailability study and our weight loss study. In addition, we will be in the middle of testing our Phytofare™ Citrus extract for treating cold and flu symptoms. With the Senteeko factory set up to process both tea and citrus, we will be able to move rapidly into production once we have favorable test results.
With respect to cannabis, we’ve completed the bulk of our science and are now aggressively seeking a legal venue for producing our Phytofare™ Cannabinoid complex and getting it into clinical trials. As discussed elsewhere, the challenge is making sure our research is done under the full authority and protection of the government. We are in discussions with several governments and have filed for exemptions in South Africa. We hope to be in production of sample quantities of cannabis complex by the end of the year.
Longer term, we have a long list of plant extracts that we are excited about processing into Phytofare™. The potential for this technology is limitless, so there will be no shortfall of new products in development in the coming months and years. Nature has provided us with a bounty of healthy plants—our job is take what we’ve been given and tap into this potential.
We will, of course, continue our pharmaceutical testing. We have additional malaria trials set to commence next year using a combination green tea and artemisia drug, and we will be conducting a sports recover and sports injury trial using our citrus product. Once the cannabis product is profiled, our intent is to start testing for treating neural disorders including MS, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.
As you can see, we’ve accomplished a lot this past year bur there is also a lot of work ahead of us. Fortunately, we’ve built a great team at Plandaí and we have amazing partners in the industry.