During the past two years BJP Laboratories has more than tripled staff at its Gold Coast headquarters.
The contract manufacturer has seen exponential growth in its workforce – from 40 people in January 2015 to more than 120 today – on the back of soaring growth with big brands. Rewind even further and six years ago the company had just six employees.
CEO of BJP Brian Siebert estimates the company produces around 50 million tablets a month for Blackmores.
However, that is just the beginning with the company having the capacity to produce 16 million tablets each day.
“We have about 6400sqm of production and warehouse space,” says Siebert.
“In the production area we have currently got 10 tablet presses – a tablet press can easily do between 80,000 and 100,000 tablets per hour and that is how we get to our capacity with staff working around a 24 hour shift.”
BJP was founded in 1992 and started off by producing bio-fermented fruit products, similar to the Japanese Yakult bio fermented milk products.
Now, the business boasts a temperature and humidity controlled manufacturing and packing facility where businesses can supply ingredients that can be produced into capsules, tablets or liquids.
In addition, BJP designs its own formulations for a range of brands.
BJP says it is one of the leading companies in innovation in probiotic production and hygroscopic powders.
“Probiotic manufacturing is very sophisticated,” says Siebert.
“First of all you have got to have the right temperature and you have got to have the right humidity control; you have got to do it all in a very controlled environment.
“A lot of manufacturers do not want to go through that process and risk having that extremely controlled environment. What we have done is spend the money on a production laboratory that has all of these features and provides great environmental conditions.
“Even overseas, people see our facility and want to work with us.”
Siebert says probiotics for human consumption is a global industry worth around $44 billion annually. Probiotics for poultry and cattle consumption is worth even more – about $50 billion and $100 billion respectively.
“We have something up our sleeve that we would like to do,” says Siebert.
“We will be producing probiotic strains and making antibiotics. Once we get into the production of that, we will then enter the poultry and cattle market.
“In the poultry market you have chickens that grow from a few grams to 2.4 kilograms in the first 32 days of its existence, so they need antibiotics and certain enzymes. New legislation in the developed world will force the industry to use probiotics that has a similar effect as antibiotics, to boost immunity that keeps them healthy. It is definitely a market we are looking at.”
BJP is also set to form an alliance with a strategic Chinese partner which will help the Gold Coast brand become a major baby probiotic manufacturer.
While little more information was given on the Chinese affiliate, it is expected the partnership will give BJP a strong export advantage.
See Business Gold Coast for more.