In late February-early March 2022 a “one-in-1000 year” flood created a wave of havoc and destruction through our company’s base, and tea tree plantations in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. A few weeks later yet another extratropical cyclone created further havoc throughout the region. The community again took to the safety of higher ground as the region was forced to evacuate from low-lying cities, towns, and rural lands.

Despite irreparable damage and catastrophic loss, once safe the community will continue the enormous task of cleaning up. A task so large the government has provided assistance from the Australian Defence Force (over 4,000 troops allocated), and the State Emergency Service (SES), to combine efforts with local government and many volunteers from far and wide to work on the clean-up.

Tea tree production is undertaken on the east coast of Australia and there are three main growing areas: the Northern Rivers region, Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast region and the Far North Queensland region. It was predominantly the Northern Rivers region that was impacted by the floods. The Golden Grove Naturals (GGN) tea tree plantation is one of the first commercial tea tree plantations and is well established on the Richmond River flood plains of New South Wales. This crop has survived many a flood and already has a flush of new regrowth coppicing from the trees. We know our plantation will recover; the question is when? It may be said the crop is as resilient as the local community.

Flooding is one of the risks of farming in river riparian zones, with alluvial soils rich in nutrient and minerals. The water levels experienced several weeks ago were 2 meters above any levels previously recorded. The height of water of the second flood event was similar to the 1 in 100-year records.

Whilst one of the homesteads on the site has been damaged, the manufacturing site and buildings are undamaged. Due to sudden ground and the time needed for the crop to recover from flooding, it is expected there will be a late start to the harvest and a reduction in the total yield of the Australian tea tree sector. We foresee a shortage in Australian tea tree oil over the next 12 months and wanted to forewarn you. We currently have organic and conventional tea tree oil in stock.

A more detailed article on the development and resilience of the Australian essential oil sector, including tea tree, is being prepared for the summer edition of Ultra’s Market Report. This will include updates on the impact of the recent floods, droughts, and fires.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the GGN team at info@goldengrovenaturals.com