Pioneering and market-leading cannabis specialist, Always Pure Organics (APO), has officially launched its new Asia foothold – Always Pure Organics Japan.
The move takes the Manchester-headquartered company’s already strong trading position in the fast-growing Japanese market to make it one of the first European brands to be established on the island.
APO is a top three wholesale and white label market leader in the UK, Japan and Europe, and registering its own company in Japan creates a strong base in a country where the CBD market is beginning to boom.
With more than 80 percent of APO’s business primarily focused on export and following the recent acquisition of Belgian company DLH*, giving it a strong European footprint, APO intends to repeat this ambitious strategy by creating a base in Japan to allow it to grow within the wider Asia region.
By establishing APO Japan, the company, as well as increasing its wholesale and white label business, it now creates the opportunity to distribute its own brands across this key market.
APO began trading in Japan in 2019, and since then has built a reputation for quality and reliability in the rapidly growing Japanese CBD market, where an in-depth of knowledge and experience of the country’s strict import regulations is essential. In the two years since the company began trading in Japan, it has achieved revenue of more than £2.5m and by establishing this base expects sales to rise to £4.5m in the first 12 months alone.
First mover advantage
APO is already recognised as one of the most trusted manufacturing partners in the Japanese market. Establishing APO Japan allows the company to manufacture on the island, to import raw material quicker, register products faster and thereby gives the company a competitive advantage by being locally based.
Given that it can take several months for Western brands to get their product into the market, by having its own domestic manufacturing and distribution warehouse facilities this will allow APO to capitalise on this key FMCG market as well using its new foothold to expand further into Asia.
CEO Gavin Ogilvie, commented: “When operating in the EU, APO is afforded the freedom to distribute its goods duty and tax free throughout the EU on a next day basis. However, in Japan, the customs clearance process slows this down dramatically and results in lengthy lead times. By establishing ourselves in Japan and building on our experience from the previous two years, our clients are able to benefit from our new, faster, local based service.”
Corporate social responsibility
Since June 2020 APO has been engaged with Green Zone Japan in joint preclinical studies called ‘Midori-no-wa (Green Circle)’ for children with intractable epilepsy in Japan. Green Zone Japan is a Japanese medical cannabis advocacy group focusing on bringing evidence-based, accurate and up-to-date information on medical cannabis to Japanese medical professionals and the public.
By now being based in Japan, APO is in a stronger position to further support Green Zone Japan and other organisations researching the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Regional director for Asia and the country representative of Japan, Chikako Yoshida said: “Evolution in the cannabis industry is fast moving particularly with inspiring stories embracing users and patients who are experiencing great benefits from the plant. After observing the evolution of the CBD industry in Japan – a country with an extremely positive outlook for the year ahead, we have therefore decided that now was the right time to launch APO Japan to respond quicker and more efficiently to the industry demands.”
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