Coals to Newcastle or olive trees to Bahrain

Sandra Thompson, Wojtek Majcherek and George Endruschat in the Treelocate workshop.
Sandra Thompson, Wojtek Majcherek and George Endruschat in the Treelocate workshop.

A north Northumberland firm is doing the equivalent of selling coals to Newcastle, having just completed a £275,000 tropical tree order for the Middle East.

Treelocate, based in Belford, exports artificial plants and trees to leisure and hospitality clients around the world and one of its most recent contracts was for 17 seven-metre olive trees for the 7* Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain.

Established in a small barn by brothers Mark and Jonny Nesbitt in 1995 after they bought a consignment of artificial trees from Asia, the business has grown to employ 40 people.

It is now a £4million turnover business which manufactures products from large-scale, bespoke flower arrangements to handmade trees and shrubs, from its four-acre site.

Treelocate has used the North East Chamber of Commerce international trade team since it started exporting to help with its business.

Mark said: “We initially worked with interior landscapers and supplied quite simple products for offices where live trees would have struggled to survive.

“Our customer base then expanded to include a huge range of outlets such as garden centres, USA theme parks and supermarkets.

“The Chamber has been a great support to us right from the outset.

“They helped us ensure we had all our ducks lined up so gave us confidence payment would come in at the right time for our contracts.”

The global reach of Treelocate extends to Dubai International Airport and a recent project for the head office of ANZ Bank in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Brian Dakers, international trade manager at the North East Chamber of Commmerce, said: “Treelocate is a really innovative business which flies the flag for our region.”