The expansion of a small Kawerau-based company's product into the North American market could see 30 new jobs and potentially millions of dollars pumped into the local economy.

New Zealand Fulvic makes a health tonic which has fulvic acid as its key ingredient, adding it to natural spring water and bottling it for sale.

Fulvic acid is a water-soluble material found in a part of soil called the humus which is processed into a liquid and marketed as a dietary supplement.

An initial export order of more than 1.5 tonnes of the supplement has left New Zealand destined for the US market and will be sold through Amazon - believed to be the first time this nutrient has been sold into the North American market.


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A $720,000 loan from Provincial Growth Fund will go towards product testing and for the expansion of the plant in Kawerau to process the mineral for export markets.

NZ Fulvic director Rhys Brooking said the factory would eventually employ 30 locals as they seek to grow international and local distribution volumes.

Currently the company employs five people.

He said the product had been well received in the domestic market having launched here just 14 months ago.

"Internationally there is a well-established market for fulvic acid amongst consumer seeking to support their dietary needs - we believe the purity of the New Zealand product is well-positioned to help capture a share of this wellness market."

Brooking said the soil extraction process used to extract the nutrient involved filtering the soil to separate the fulvic acid from the humus with the land later reinstated in line with their organic approach to production.

He said they were currently producing a nutrient-rich fertiliser product which was organically certified and were working on certification for their fulvic acid supplement.


New Zealand's deposits of fulvic acid was discovered by accident in a Southland farm following oil and gas exploration surveys in the 1950s. Deposits of this size are rare by international standards with only a few countries around the world able to extract fulvic acid for nutritional products.