Orchid export business ready for growth

By Colin Taylor

Nursery at Orere Point south of Auckland has blooming development opportunities on easy land looking to the sea

The glasshouses at Florere Nurseries, near Clevedon, supply 9000 of the 300,000 boxes of orchids produced in New Zealand annually.
The glasshouses at Florere Nurseries, near Clevedon, supply 9000 of the 300,000 boxes of orchids produced in New Zealand annually.

One of the country's top orchid-growing operations, based an hour's drive south of Auckland and supplying a growing international market, has been placed on the market for an asking price of $1.095 million.

"Florere Nurseries has been voted by customers as one of the top 10 orchid growers in New Zealand for quality and production quantity," says Tony van Camp of Bayleys Auckland, who with Bayleys Papakura salesperson Peter Sullivan is marketing the property and going concern business for sale by negotiation.

The family-owned business at 80 Orere Matingarahi Rd, Orere, near Clevedon, has a legacy of 28 years in operation and specialises in growing standard size cymbidium orchids for export all over the world and particularly to North America, Europe and Asia.

"This business would suit another family that wants to work in the business and which is looking to live in the country," says Van Camp.

Exports at fixed sales prices make up 90 per cent of Florere Nurseries' revenue. The remaining 10 per cent goes to local market. The company has a 3 per cent market share in New Zealand producing 9000 of the annual 300,000 boxes produced industry-wide.

"According to Statistics NZ, cut flowers are a significant export market for New Zealand with demand continuing to increase," Van Camp says. "Flower exports reached $35.6 million in 2011 with orchids making up the largest percentage of these at $21.7 million - up from $20.8 million the previous year."

Brothers Henk and Herman Slebos established Florere Nurseries on their parents' farm on the 6.2ha Orere Point site. The nursery takes up 38 per cent of the usable land area, leaving plenty of room for additional growing houses and a residential dwelling overlooking the rolling hills and out to sea.

The largely flat property has two water tunnels that are permitted to carry 100cu m per day and 15,000cu m per annum for irrigating the plants.

"The location is ideal for growing orchids because of the temperate climate," says Van Camp.

On site are three growing houses that are controlled by computer, one quarantine house, two packing sheds, an air-conditioned office, two heating plants and an irrigation plant.

Van Camp says all the buildings and plant have been well maintained and will "serve a new owner well for many years to come".

The business assets include 35,000 orchid plants of different varieties, sprays, fertiliser, packaging, coal for a coal powered heating plant, growing consumables, planters and hooks. "The sale includes everything a new owner will require to enter into the next growing season."

Van Camp says the replacement value of the growing houses, plant and equipment, stock and orchid plants is well in excess of $1 million.

The New Zealand orchid season runs from May to October, with the business employing one permanent and seven casual staff members.

Van Camp says the long history of Florere Nurseries and its ranking among the nation's top orchid growers makes it a very desirable purchase for someone looking to enter the industry sector or to grow through acquisition.

"Central to the success of this business is a superior product comprising flowers that have a long vase life from more than 60 varieties across five colour categories and a nursery record for prompt and accurate service.

"The business has built up an enviable customer base with a refined growing process that produces blooms of the highest quality for cut flower exporters, local market flower auctions, fellow orchid growers and the public," says Van Camp.

Sullivan says a new owner would be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise cultivated by the long established business which has a number of other revenue streams.

"Florere Nurseries has a network of orchid growers and breeders, allowing it to source and breed new varieties to supplement existing orchid stock. [It] also supplies plants, clones and bulbs to growers in New Zealand and overseas and provides a consultancy service to new and established orchid growers."

Sullivan says the business offers a potential owner several opportunities for growth and expansion.

"These include designing cut flower boxes to develop the brand and improve marketing following the recent development of a website.

"There are also opportunities for greater export growth into China and other Far East destinations. The existing site has space to double the number of growing rooms so a new owner could easily expand the current production."

- NZ Herald

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