The Northern Rivers Region supports a diverse herb and botanical products and services industry. It consists of growers and manufacturers. Most of the growers run small enterprises and sell their product to restaurants or larger independent manufacturers and processors. These organisations effectively act as amalgamators. They purchase small quantities of herbs from local growers (and sometimes imported product) to supplement their own production. These are processed or sold on to larger manufacturers.
Southern Cross University has four main schools that are complementary to a growing and manufacturing industry. These schools are:
- School of Natural and Complimentary Medicine;
- Australian Centre for Complimentary Medicine Education and Research;
- Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics; and
- Centre for Phytochemistry.
The most limiting commercial factors for a viable local industry are the scale of operation of local growers and their ability to purchase specialised harvesting equipment.
Economies of scale and vertical integration will continue to drive the local herb industry.