Monday, 23 May 2011

A brand new horticultural export company specialising in Japanese maples has come from the other side of the world to launch a potential new industry for its home country at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.

Established in New Zealand just last year, Tamata Holdings Ltd specialises in growing Japanese maples or Acer palmatum to a mature age for export. In August 2010 the company exported Acers to the United Kingdom - the first time a New Zealand company has exported Acers at a mature age in any quantity. Further exports are scheduled for 2011 with shipments due to arrive in the UK during July and annually thereafter as the business develops.

New Zealand is renowned for its fertile growing conditions and the country relies heavily on its agricultural industry –but nursery plants are primarily produced for the domestic market, with just a few international exporters of ornamentals, all exporting younger plants.

Tamata’s propagation methods coupled with the excellent growing conditions in the Waikato region of New Zealand have resulted in a hardier strain of Acers uniformly of superior height, girth and structure. “They are tough but beautiful”, says designer Xanthe White, “like All Blacks in tutus”.

Sustainably managed exotic forest plantations are part of the New Zealand government’s climate change response efforts, and Tamata’s directors believe that ornamental tree exports could be a potential green investment as well as a business opportunity for the country.

Rob Morrison, Chairman and major shareholder of Tamata Holdings Ltd, is a former Asian investment banker and one of the 30 founders of the Copenhagen Climate Council.

“The Chelsea Flower Show is the fashion show of the gardening world, and the ideal place to meet the ‘who’s who’ of the industry” says David Parkes, General Manager of Tamata. “What we’re doing is new for New Zealand, and we think the business could really work as a green investment for the horticultural industry on both sides of the world”

** All plants in Tamata’s garden will be auctioned off, with proceeds to go to the Red Cross. There will be a silent auction during the week, with a live auction on selected lots during sell-off at 4pm on Saturday**.


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