Galuku, partnering with growers to help you succeed

Date: 17th February 2021

Galuku has been partnering with the Australian horticulture industry for more than 25 years. With decades of research and development, our eco-friendly, soilless coconut coir substrate products have helped revolutionise hydroponic growing to produce berries of exceptional quality.

We work differently from other suppliers and see the relationship between us and our customers as a partnership. We want to see growers succeed so we provide a range of technical support and expertise, backed by science, to help you sustainably cultivate the best quality crops.

Our global story

The Galuku journey started when company founder Joe Davids was travelling through Sri Lanka and discovered the amazing properties of coconut husk (coir). This product was often thrown away without a second thought and few people knew of its potential. Joe, and co-founder Andy Swan, brought the first blocks of coir peat (cocopeat) into Australia in 1992, as a substitute for the unsustainably mined peat of that era.

By the time we brought our third shipment into the country, Galuku had helped the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) develop the import conditions for the product and we had begun our mission to transform soilless growing in the horticulture industry.
In the beginning, we partnered with plant nurseries and potting soil companies in New South Wales to conduct our research. Together we developed new ways of using coir peat as a water-saving ingredient in potting soils, harnessing its incredible water-holding properties. This work is still seen in most premium potting soils sold today.

The next step in our journey was for Galuku to join with our Sri Lankan counterpart to manufacture coir products to meet the required standards in Australia. This partnership has always been of great importance to us, not only did it help develop the budding coconut industry, but also created jobs in the coir peat’s country of origin.

A few years later we did the same in India, where we now have eight factories with more than 250 staff as stakeholders, playing a key role in helping people in many countries grow clean healthy food crops. Around the world, 95% of our employees have worked for Galuku for more than 15 years.

Australian innovation

Galuku invented and patented the Easyfil PlanterBag in Australia, an open-top container growing system that combines the container and substrate in one product. This economical, easy-to-use solution was originally developed in collaboration with tomato and cucumber growers in Western Sydney. These growers were previously using plastic bags filled with sawdust to grow in low tech, hydroponic tunnels. Now our product is world-renowned, having helped transform growing industries around the globe.

Our research with the local berry industry revolutionised the cultivation of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries out of the ground and into soilless media. Collaborating with allied protected cropping suppliers, including greenhouse constructors, irrigation companies and hydroponic container suppliers, has further advanced our solutions for growing higher quality crops with stronger yields.

We also partnered with the largest ginger beer brewer in Australia to develop a new way to grow premium quality ginger. Both the rubus and rhizome industries have experienced significant benefits from the EasyFil PlanterBag which we adapt for different uses. From blueberries in Peru to ginger in Hawaii, we are proud of the solutions our Australian partners have helped us deliver, and share with growers in many parts of the world.

Exciting changes to how we do business in Australia

We have all felt the many obstacles and disruptions caused by COVID-19. Our biggest task during 2020 was to keep our teams and partners safe and supported.

In 2021, we are tackling challenges caused by the increased cost of ocean freight and equipment shortages. We have completely restructured our factories for better supply management to enhance how we deliver to our Australian growers. We are investing heavily in our production and storage capacities at our Indian and Sri Lankan factories, while expanding our Indonesian operations to keep up with rapidly increasing demand

From the second quarter of the year, we will produce and hold more inventory at our factories and warehouses around Australia, making it easier to supply local growers. We have also rebuilt the Galuku website to offer greater grower support and provide more knowledge for successful soilless farming using coir media.

We’re here for you

We’re really excited about the changes we’re making and would love to talk to you about the difference our products can make for your berries. Call Andrew on 0421 149 737 or book a consultation through our website, where you can also find out more about how Galuku can work for you.