Impilovest is a new force in South African cannabis, built around the manufacturing capacity of Afriplex and incorporating a number of well-known Western Cape cannabis brands. Cannabiz Africa drills down into what Afriplex is about in a Q&A with Impilovest Director of Business Development, Paul Nunes.
Q&A with Paul Nunes, Impilovest Director of Business Development.
CA: How does Afriplex fit in to the new Impilovest group?
PN: Afriplex is the cornerstone business within the Impilovest group and exists at the midpoint of the value chain within our manufacturing division. It serves as the longest operating business within the group as well having been in existence for over 20 years.
CA: Is there new investment going into Afriplex? If so, how much and for what?
PN: Impilovest will continually be looking at improving the capabilities for Afriplex. We are investigating the addition of other lines into the facility so that we can differentiate are product offering in alternative dosage forms. We are also in the process of securing a category A medical manufacturing license.
CA: How will being part of Impilovest change the way Afriplex does business? Relationship with other group brands?
PN: The main difference will be in creating operating efficiencies between the business which arise within the chain and leveraging the skill sets from other businesses so that each one can benefit accordingly. It is important to note that Afriplex will still operate as a separate business and will continues to do so with trust and integrity.
CA: What is the biggest product line Afriplex produces, and for whom?
PN: Currently, Afriplex produces over 70% of the CBD products sold on-shelf in South Africa. ReThink is also the largest brand in this market. However, there are other key API such as Pelargonium in which Afriplex does extremely well not only in South Africa, but as a botanical extract to international markets.
CA: What other manufacturing processes does Afriplex do?
PN: Afriplex produces over 5 million final packed products a year. The core capabilities mainly lie in manufacturing oral liquid solutions and solid dosage forms. The products we supply include syrups, drops, sprays, tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets, powders and granules.
CA: What other services does Afriplex offer?
PN: Afriplex offers a host of other services outside of core manufacturing such a product R&D, stability testing, dossier compilation and is equipped with one of the leading laboratories in South Africa. I think most importantly we are extremely proud of the talent which presides in our business and are blessed to have them as partners in our business.
CA: Does Afriplex export its own product? If so, what to who?
PN: Afriplex does export some of its raw trademarked ingredients to global markets specifically in Europe such as our CAANU™ range, Afriplex GRT™, Afriplex PS70™, Afriplex CORAC-Q™
CA: How many people does it employ?
PN: We currently employ over 200 people. I alluded to the talent pool earlier and we are proud to have over 18 scientists, 6 PHD holders and 6 pharmacists as a part of this business. With our growth plans in place we would obviously look at expanding our ranks and look at initiatives to retain top talent within the organization.
CA: Is Afriplex still investing in the Vaal Triangle SEZ? Any other investments planned for outside the Western Cape?
PN: We are going ahead. Waiting for regulatory approval.
CA: What are the plans for Afriplex for 2023?
PN: I would say watch this space as the best possible answer. I cannot divulge much detail at this stage but what I can say is that we see 2023 as a year of growth through differentiation for the business. We are really excited by the new potential possibilities that 2023 will hold and making Afriplex not only the front-runner in CAMs contract manufacturing but a bone fide pharmaceutical drug manufacturer.