Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

The cGP Lab was originally known as Vitality Wellness (NZ) Ltd. The company was established in 2012 by Jim Grierson, a leader in New Zealand’s horticulture industry, and David Eder, a second-generation blackcurrant grower and industry innovator.

Jim Grierson led the establishment of the International Blackcurrant Association and was the inaugural President from 2009 to 2012 along with chairing the IBA agronomy sector within the IBA. Jim has been a board member of Blackcurrant New Zealand Incorporated Society since 2011 and was a representative on the Blackcurrant marketing committee.

As well as being a second-generation blackcurrant grower, horticulturalist, and award-winning farmer, David Eder is a champion of innovation. David has worked tirelessly for over 40 years to progress New Zealand’s horticulture sector, including chairing the New Zealand Blackcurrant Product Group, being an executive member of the International Blackcurrant Association and being a ministerial appointee on several different sector advisory groups. David was also a former board member of Horticulture NZ and is also a life member.

A mutual love of blackcurrants

The pair met through a mutual love of blackcurrants. Together they have over 80 years’ experience working in the NZ blackcurrant industry and together they have successfully taken the health benefits of blackcurrants to the world.

During their time in the blackcurrant business, Jim and David saw the health benefits that friends and family experienced when they regularly consumed blackcurrant products. Back in 2008, David observed a friend with Parkinson’s disease who had been taking his blackcurrant extract, having reduced shaking.

To explore this potential benefit, the business partnered with leading clinicians to run a trial with 11 Parkinson’s Disease sufferers who were given capsules containing blackcurrant extract daily for 4 weeks.

The main health benefit reported in this clinical trial was significantly reduced anxiety and depression Parkinson’s sufferers after taking capsules containing blackcurrant.

Parkinson’s trial led to discovery of cGP in NZ-blackcurrants

It was this early trial with Parkinson’s sufferers and David’s subsequent chance meeting with Dr Jian Guan in 2016 that lead to the breakthrough discovery that cGP is present in NZ-grown Blackcurrants.

Dr Guan’s research showed that the patients who had been taking capsules containing blackcurrant had significantly elevated levels of cGP in their blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. This was a ground-breaking discovery on two fronts. It suggested that cGP was present in blackcurrants and showed that cGP can pass through the blood brain barrier.

Dr Guan then went on to scientifically analyse every part of blackcurrants. Dr Guan was Associate Professor of The University of Auckland and a Member of Centre for Brain Research at the time.

Dr Guan’s scientific analysis of New Zealand blackcurrants found they were packed with cGP! Her discovery that NZ blackcurrants are rich in cGP, funded by Vitality NZ led the company to transform the brand from VitalityNZ into the cGPMAX® brand. Dr Guan is now the Chief Scientist at the cGP Lab.

World-first discovery led to global patent.

The discovery of cGP in NZ-grown blackcurrants lead to the cGP Lab applying and being granted a fully novel patent for cGP (WO 2019/045575 A1) in over 30 countries worldwide. The patent covers the source and supply of natural plant-based cGP as well as the health benefits of cGP.Only NZ grown blackcurrants are used in the cGP Lab’s products, as they have highest cGP levels in the world.

Founders continue to drive the company forward.

Jim and David are both enjoying their semi-retirement now. Jim is often found fishing in the rivers of New Zealand’s South Island, and David is deeply involved in his community. Both are enjoying being grandparents!

Both Jim and David continue their involvement with the cGP Lab. Curiosity led them on a quest to discover the health properties of these magical purple berries and their passion for blackcurrants helps bring the incredible benefits of cGP to customers all over the world.