Down Under Enterprises grows, produces, exports, and markets traceable
and sustainable native Australian essential oils and botanicals grown on our farm, Buhlambar, and from across Australia producing essential oils and botanicals with unique functional and aromatic properties.

THE UPDATE

from

DOWN UNDER

 

Keep up-to-date with our latest news, tips, product updates, special offers, and more.

 

March 2022

G’day mate,

This month we bring you first-hand news of the devastating floods on the East Coast of Australia, the impact on our community, our wildlife, and our Tea Tree industry in particular. While our farm, Buhlambar, was affected, we were one of the lucky ones.

HubSpot Video

The flooding was significant, with experts calling this a "1 in 1000 year event". Thousands of locals were evacuated, some from rooftops via helicopters, but also by kayak, boat, and anything that floats. One nearby town upriver from us recorded a “Rain Bomb” of over 775mm (30.5”) in less than 24 hours. Experts attribute these floods to a combination of ‘highly unusual’ weather events including La Niña. Being a largely agricultural region, many farmers have lost their crops and much livestock, while many residents in the area lost their homes. Over 3,600 homes are deemed “uninhabitable”. Three weeks on from the flood and many locals are still sheltering in local schools and other temporary accommodation. Driving through these communities is heart-breaking - water-logged piles of furniture, personal effects, and appliances stacked 3+ meters high on both sides of the road.

Every road in every community.

 

As the clean-up continues and repairs begin, we are hard at work helping recovery efforts.

  • Minor damage at our farm Buhlambar which we are beginning to repair.
    HubSpot Video
  • Our koala corridor was impacted and we will replant trees. We are most grateful for the generous $5,000 donation from one of our customers towards this project.
  • Down Under Enterprises is supporting our neighbors more severely impacted by the floods.
  • Down Under Enterprises is donating Tea Tree Oil to local residents to help fight the mold and fungus issues in flood-affected homes
  • Down Under Enterprises, in collaboration with our customer, Koala Eco, has distributed over 2000 bottles of cleaning products in the impacted regions with the charity Lifeline.

To support those affected by the recent floods, you can donate to the Red Cross Floods Appeal and the Lifeline Northern Rivers Flood Appeal.


Thanks for reading.

signature Phil MAR2020

Phil Prather

FARM UPDATES

FARM UPDATES

Our farm survives the “1000 year” flood

The Australian Tea Tree Industry spans much of the East Coast of Australia, centered around three main growing regions: Port Macquarie and the Mid-North Coast region, Northern Rivers region, and Far North Queensland region. Only the Northern Rivers region, where our farm is located, has been impacted by the recent floods in Australia.

The impact of flooding in the Northern Rivers is likely to take another 4 to 6 weeks to fully understand the implications to the industry. We need to see how the flooded Tea Trees recover. Also, there is still 3+ months before harvest season kicks into gear. It’s just too early to know. We are confident, however that the impact of the floods on production levels in the Northern Rivers region will be (somewhat) offset by new plantings over the past couple years.

HubSpot Video

In terms of our farm, Buhlambar, and our likely production this year, we’re one of the few lucky ones. Our farm was impacted by the floods; however, we have not suffered any damage to our trees, but we did lose some equipment and infrastructure. While we planned our farm for the occurrence of floods, the water rose to levels unimaginable, over 6.5 feet (2m) higher than any previously recorded flood.

What has been heartbreaking to our staff is the impact of the floodwaters on the new plantings in our “Koala Corridor”. You can read more about this in the following article on Koalas.

Tea Tree Oil contracts for our current customers, however, remain fully covered by stock on hand as well as planning underway for our upcoming harvest. Some unallocated stock still exists in our warehouses (Australia and the US), so if you are experiencing supply issues due to global logistics or this flooding, give us a call to discuss how we can help.

Our Account Managers are in discussions with customers to lock-in requirements beyond current contracts to ensure their needs are met through the next Tea Tree Oil harvest and production reaches our overseas warehouses in North America, Europe, and Asia.

If you have concerns about your Tea Tree Oil supply, please talk to your Down Under Account Manager, or via our ‘contact us’ form.

SUSTAINABILITY

SUSTAINABILITY

Koalas now classified as endangered in parts of Australia

The Australian government has officially listed the Koala as an endangered species in early 2022. Koala numbers continue to decline, due to land clearing and environmental events, including the recent catastrophic bushfires and flooding shrinking their native habitat. 

HubSpot Video

This decision means koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will now be classified as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) 1999.

The recent flooding on the East Coast of Australia has further devasted and threatened Australian wildlife, beyond koalas, in the region. Thousands of native animals have been displaced or killed by the floods which inundated New South Wales and Southeast Queensland.

Over the past four years, Down Under Enterprises staff members and some customers spent time developing a Koala Corridor at our farm to help maintain their population. We have also built nesting boxes to provide shelter for wildlife as part of a Wildlife Rescue (WIRES) initiative. Some of our more recently planted trees were damaged in the floods and we will replant these Eucalyptus Trees. Some good news is that the Eucalyptus trees in the koala corridor reduced the water velocity into our Tea Tree. Our agronomist is confident this helped prevent physical damage to our trees. It provides further evidence that our Biodiversity initiatives are having a positive effect on our local ecosystem

We are very grateful for a US$5,000 flood recover grant from one of our long-standing customers in North America towards replanting of trees lost as well as expanding the Koala Corridor across our neighbours’ properties.

If you are looking for ways to support Australia’s wildlife during this time, we recommend WIRES. Down Under Enterprises is a significant sponsor and supporter of WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. WIRES has been rescuing and caring for sick, injured, and orphaned native animals for over 35 years. Their mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

Learn more about WIRES on their website or donate to the flood wildlife appeal here.