W.Last is a trusted supplier of premium extracts. Although the company’s history dates back to 1907, it’s been prepared to change throughout the years to stay relevant in the pharmaceutical, complementary medicines and food industries.
W.Last has been in business for more than 100 years. In the ’70s, it pioneered the Health Products Association and managed to register over 2 500 ingredients with the authority.
‘Many of the extractions we manufacture today meet the original regulatory requirements and are sold with the original ingredient registrations,’ says Glenn Ferguson. ‘We believe we are the only company in South Africa that can extract botanicals in a variety of extraction media. Historically, we’ve used ethanol, just like many other companies.
Yet W.Last is at the forefront of hydroglycerol extraction, which is both ethanol- and sugar-free, and propylene glycol extracts used primarily in the perfume, cosmetics and vape industries.’
With its rich history and decades of experience, the W.Last team strives to produce products of timeless quality. The company is still family owned and managed and is currently owned and managed by the Ferguson’s. Glenn oversees product development and customer relations, Deryk Ferguson is the production manager and Julie Ferguson handles marketing and advertising.
‘We have over 20 years’ experience in extracting herbal and homeopathic starting materials. Dealing with customers on a daily basis has given us insight into which products work and which don’t,’ Glenn comments.
‘There is definitely a gap in the market for botanical extracts that taste good and outperform conventional tinctures. We’ve invested heavily in cutting edge technologies to meet market demands and believe W.Last is the only company on the African continent using ultrasonic technology for mainstream botanical herb extraction.’
Diversified To Supply
Prior to 2018, W.Last primarily manufactured and distributed homeopathic products to many of South Africa’s leading pharmaceutical contract manufacturers. In 2019, it was decided the focus of the company needed to be redirected.
‘We have always manufactured a good quality herbal tincture but needed this to become our speciality. So, we have aligned ourselves with many leading contract manufacturing companies, supplying them with raw materials in the form of herbal tinctures and homeopathic remedies,’ Glenn says. ‘By focusing on this specialist area of business, W.Last has diversified from a small contract manufacturer to sought after supplier of raw materials.’
If the company did not continually innovate and change direction, Glenn says it would have gone out of business many years ago. Changing its focus to botanical extracts is no different. Glenn believes W.Last is well positioned to supply local and international market with quality, locally produced extracts, using a clean, energy efficient and environmentally friendly process.