Sep 23, 2004

Royal gardens and other parks and outdoor displays in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are blooming with help from a Tyrone horticultural business and Invest Northern Ireland.

Growmoor Horticulture, based at Derryane, near Dungannon, is supplying moss peat and compost to a major Dubai-based contractor for use in the commercial production of flowers and vegetables and for private and public landscaping projects around the UAE’s main centres of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The contract, Growmoor Horticulture’s first in the Arabian Gulf, was secured following participation in a trade mission to the Middle East.

Growmoor Horticulture’s success was welcomed by Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Director of Trade as “an excellent example of a small company which is using the expertise and the range of expert services from Invest NI to broaden its marketing activities and overall ability to compete for business”.

“Helping local companies, particularly small to medium sized enterprises, to add value to and strengthen their overall business through investing in trade activities that expand their capability and profitability is an Invest NI priority,” added Mr Hingston.

Describing the contract as “very significant”, Marino Fresch, Growmoor Horticulture’s Export Consultant, said: “This is an exceptionally important breakthrough for us in a region which is investing substantial amounts to develop new industries such as horticulture and tourism.

“Major investment is underway to promote the commercial growth of vegetables in particular to reduce the dependence on imported products. Extensive landscaping projects are also helping to create an extremely attractive environment for visitors in Dubai, now one of world’s the most successful tourism centres.

“The Dubai contractor choose Growmoor over rivals because we offered a very competitive deal, a consistently high quality product and were able to meet his fast delivery requirements. The customer was also attracted by our ability to adapt our product, blending raw materials to hold moisture longer for the hot climate,” he added.

Mr Fresch said the company had benefited from taking part in the trade mission and from support provided by the Invest NI team in Dubai.

“My experience of trade missions is that the knowledge and experience that can be gained from fellow participants together with the support from Invest NI make missions an ideal way for any company to explore an overseas market.

“Staff at Invest NI’s Technology and Development Centre in Dubai also helped us to pinpoint potential customers in Dubai and set up the meeting which led to directly the contract,” added Mr Fresch.

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