‘‘From my family’s humble beginnings in 1916, as general grocers to what Richgro is today 100 years later, is testament to the support of our staff and family culture, our retailers and our beautiful industry” Geoff Richards, Managing Director.
2016 is a special year for A.Richards Pty LTD trading as Richgro Garden Products. We are celebrating our centenary and Richgro has remained proudly Australian family owned and operated and are grateful to have been providing great garden products to Australian gardeners for 100 years.
From humble beginnings as merchant grocers in Western Australia in 1916, the company is today one of the leading garden products’ suppliers in the country, servicing all states. This is our story….
1916 – OUR STORY BEGINS – A family company, A.Richards Pty Ltd was first registered as A.Richards & Co. by Arthur Richards in 1916. We originally began trading as grocers and general merchants from a site in the Perth southern suburb of Cannington, supplying the local community with a range of everyday essentials.
1945 -1956 – THE FAMILY BUSINESS GROWS – After completing duties in the Second World War in 1945, Arthur’s son Jack joined the company; this began the dynasty of the Richard’s boys joining the company which continues today with Geoff (Jack’s son) being the current Managing Director and his own sons Tim and Matthew as Operations Manager and Projects Manager respectively. 1956 saw Jack move the company into the supply and manufacture of stock and poultry food.
1960’s – THE RICHGRO BRAND IS BORN – When Jack’s eldest son Geoff joined the company in 1964, he saw that diversification was the future of the company and, by 1969, the company had begun to manufacture and distribute a range of fertilisers to local nurserymen. The Richgro brand was created and used on a small range of fertilisers. As the demand grew the brand was used on the expanding range which included Potting Mix and eventually the home garden chemical range.
1988 – RICHGRO MOVES TO CURRENT PREMISES IN JANDAKOT – To accommodate the growing business, the main operation moved to a 45 hectare site in Jandakot, some 20 kilometres south of Perth. The move allowed for increased manufacturing capacity with a focus on organic based product. This move also facilitated the expansion into the area of specialist growing mixes for wholesale nurseries, landscapers and landscape architects.
1990s – THE RICHGRO BRAND GROWS NATIONALLY – Throughout the 1990s, work continued in increasing production capacity, securing overseas product ideas, growing the brand nationally and upgrading participation in the generation of Standards for Potting Mixes, Mulches and Composts. New, innovative products and the repackaging and positioning of many older traditional products which started in 1993 still continues today and are the basis of the company’s strong market position.
2000’s – RICHGRO INVESTS TO SUPPORT GROWING BUSINESS – The installation of a fully automated packaging plant for organics and potting media was completed during the 2000-2001 year, which ensured the company gained efficiencies along with the ability to meet the high seasonal demands of the industry. This was followed by the addition of three new loaders, compost turner, two screening trommels, a compost shredder and sand screening plant.
2003 – RICHGRO OPENS A TRADE CENTRE FOR COMMERCIAL BUSINESS – Work started on a major building program in early 2003, which saw the completion of the Richgro Trade Centre. The Trade Centre supplies specialist growing mixes for wholesale nurseries, landscapers and landscape architects and is managed by staff highly qualified in Horticulture. The Commercial division remains an integral part of the Richgro business today.
2004 – RICHGRO ACQUIRES AMAZON SOILS – In August 2004, Richgro acquired Amazon Soils, one of WA’s largest manufacturers of bulk mulch, compost, potting mix and blended soils, in a strategic move towards further expansion of the company’s activities. By combining the passion, expertise and technology of the two leading edge companies, Richgro continues to drive innovations that will improve the companies’ offerings to their respective markets.
2005 – RICHGRO BECOMES ISO9001 CERTIFIED AND OPENS STATE OF THE ART LABORATORY – Richgro is recognised for its ongoing commitment to quality. In April 2005, Richgro became an ISO9001 Quality Endorsed Company and in November 2005, the company’s newly completed laboratory was opened. This facility not only provides in-house product testing but is also a source of revenue, as it carries out testing for organisations and businesses within the Horticultural industry.
2007 – RICHGRO COMPLETES LAST STEP OF AUTOMATION WITH FERTILISERS – Late in December 2007 the installation of a fully automated form fill and seal machine for packing fertiliser was completed. This was the last step in the automation of packaged products and brought much needed operational efficiencies and quality improvements to the business.
2007 – RICHGRO GOES NATURAL WITH LAUNCH OF FIRST NATURAL WEEDKILLER –In 2007, the company launched its first “natural” weedkiller, Beat-A-Weed®. This product was and is still an integral component of the future of the business in safer, more natural garden products. Further to this, in the late 2000’s , Richgro acquired Environment Award Winning company Beat- A-Bug® Garden Products and thereafter took on the distribution of Environmental Award Winning products Charlie Carp.
2014 – RICHGRO LAUNCHES FIRST ANAEROBIC DIGESTER (AD) IN AUSTRALIA – The plant was partly funded by the Federal Government via the Clean Technology Program as part of the zero carbon initiative and will reduce Richgro’s carbon emissions and electricity consumption ( via the power grid) by 100%. This plant is an integral part of the company’s strategy of diversification into the waste recovery field (food and organic wastes) towards a consistent and reliable supply of products.