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Ramm Botanicals

Ramm Botanicals is “first and foremost a creator of intellectual property”, says Jeff Cooke, Managing Director of Ramm Botanicals. This may seem a little strange from one of the country’s larger young plant suppliers, however, it all makes sense when you take in everything the company is involved in.

The company celebrates its seventh birthday in December and, during the course of their formative years, has dramatically changed from the company that was formed through the merger of Ramm Pty Ltd and Yates Botanicals in 2002. The company’s product emphasis has moved to drought tolerant, low maintenance, colourful plants and shifted away from the more typical, thirsty flowering lines that were so popular pre-water restrictions.

This significant shift was only possible through a strong commitment to product development. Plant breeding and development of production protocols for Australian native plants has been guided by Angus Stewart, who has been involved in the Bush Gems program for over quarter of a century. Angus now has the support of six staff members in both laboratory and nursery to put his ideas into motion. The company has also carried on the successful association with Nu Flora International, the company formed between Mal Morgan, Graham Brown and The University of Sydney. “Mal and Graham understand the needs of the market and they are developing world-class product which we are pleased to help develop and distribute globally”, says Jeff.

Since 70% of Ramm Botanical’s plant sales originate as tissue cultured plants, the company has become necessarily proficient at high volume laboratory production. To boost laboratory production capacity and help to price compete in international markets, off-shore production facilities have been established in Sri Lanka. Company directors and co-owners Jeff Cooke and Ryan Weber both work full time in the business and they share a vision for the future. This is demonstrated through their commitment to plant breeding, representing Australian genetics in export markets and striving to be a world class marketing innovator in the ornamental plants. Their company has accumulated multiple industry awards including NSW and national awards for Training, Export and Best Large Production Nursery.

Ramm Botanicals employs 90 staff shared equally between their two NSW Central Coast sites. The Tuggerah site houses sales and admin office, production and R&D laboratory and young plant nursery. Ten minutes away, their Somersby laboratory generates high volume tissue culture production for domestic and export markets. The majority of their production is with ornamental plants; however they also produce significant quantities of forestry and plantation crops.

Jeff Cooke, Managing Director of Ramm Botanicals said, “It has taken a while to achieve, however we have now assembled a youthful, energetic management team that really believe in the company’s strategic direction. Most importantly, they all understand that achieving high levels of customer service is their ultimate goal. We are also well served by a very experienced workforce with a high proportion of our staff accumulating ten years plus service achievements”. Although the company has a broad geographic focus, selling to all points of Australia and to the world’s major markets, it also understands its role in the community. Management have held numerous positions in regional business committees and nursery industry roles at regional, state and national level.

“We really believe that our industry can play a major role in achieving a more sustainable lifestyle, says Jeff. “One very interesting project in progress is a testing phase of biodegradable pots made entirely from coconut fibre (coir) and rubber latex, both fully renewable resources. The plant should not be removed from the pot and can therefore be planted ‘pot and all’ because the open, honeycombed nature of the pot material allows root penetration of the side walls.”

The company believes that integration of these biodegradable pots is a natural addition to their product range and very much in keeping with their overall objective of marketing products that enhance sustainability.

Quick facts:

  • 90 staff

  • Laboratory – 2 sites – 36 laminar flows

  • Nursery – over 4,000m2 of environmentally regulated greenhouse facilities

  • Office facility housing sales & marketing, finance and R&D administration.

  • Commenced trading in December 2002

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