Australian lavender farm seeks expansion to meet China's growing demand

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-26 10:09:21|Editor: Wu Qin
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CANBERRA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A South Australian lavender farm is pursuing rapid expansion on the back of China's strong demand for the plant.

Rhona Parker-Benton, the co-owner and general manager of Brayfield Park Lavender Farm, told News Corp Australia recently that the company is on the hunt for the perfect land to expand the business.

Essential oil extracted from lavenders is widely used in skincare products and Brayfield Park is hopeful of claiming a piece of the lucrative industry.

Brayfield Park's current crop is less than one hectare in size but the company plans to expand it to more than 40 hectares in order to guarantee the supply as it ramps-up exports to Asia.

Parker-Benton said that South Australia's climate is well-suited to grow lavenders but ideally the new land would have the soil that is either neutral or alkaline to grow more fragrant plants.

The company also intends to build a visitor center facing the Murray River to accommodate tourists.

According to the National Visitor Survey published by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), tourists spent 7.2 billion Australian dollars (five billion U.S. dollars) in South Australia in the 12 months to March 2019.

The president of the South Australian arm of the Australia China Business Council and former chairman of the South Australian Tourism Commission, said attractions such as Brayfield Park were key to driving that figure.

"Diverse, high-quality tourism product in the regions is in great demand for the high-end visitor to South Australia," he said.

"The proposed expansion of Brayfield Park, with its in-demand skincare products for the China market, is ideally positioned to drive greater visitation to the Murraylands for a much sought-after lavender farm experience."