LEADING UK cannabis business Always Pure Organics (APO) has opened a new division in Japan in a move it believes will help double annual sales in the country.
The opening of the Manchester-headquartered company’s Japanese base makes it one of the first European brands to be established in the country.
APO began trading in Japan in 2019, and has since built a leading presence in its rapidly-growing CBD market, where an in-depth of knowledge and experience of the country’s strict import regulations is required.
In the two years since APO 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.
With more than 80% 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.
CEO Gavin Ogilvie said: “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.”
APO is a top three wholesale and white label market leader in the UK, and by establishing APO Japan, it says it will allow the company to manufacture on the island, import raw material quicker, register products faster and give it a competitive advantage.
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 APO can capitalise on this key FMCG market as well using its new foothold to expand further into Asia, it says in a press release.
APO Regional Director Asia 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.”
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 says it is in a stronger position to further support Green Zone Japan and other organisations researching the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.