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New Agricultural Mulch Poised to Revolutionize Commercial Agriculture


EcoCover®, environmentally friendly mulch, now in full scale production

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, May 5, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- EcoCover, a New Zealand manufacturing firm, has developed an agricultural mulch cover, a world first, that offers a unique manufacturing business opportunity. [Business investment opportunities] come and go but the introduction of our product may prove to be one of this century’s most promising because it could very well revolutionize commercial farming, marginal forestry plantings and landscaping methods. It’s already starting to do that in New Zealand" says Murray Cruickshank, the company’s CEO and founder.

An alternative to plastic agricultural mulch covers, EcoCover solves a myriad of problems faced by commercial growers and landscapers and it is environmentally friendly. “EcoCover is not only compostable and biodegradable, it conserves water, reduces plant mortality, controls weeds, promotes plant growth, moderates soil temperature, reduces soil erosion, eliminates or reduces herbicide use and can also be used to carry beneficial soil additives,” Cruickshank says. “This makes EcoCover the only environmentally friendly, sustainable agricultural mulch mat in the world. Its attributes make it the ultimate solution for a variety of problems.”

EcoCover is produced as a patented composite laminate from paper that would otherwise be introduced into the waste stream. “To our way of thinking, the fact that EcoCover is manufactured using landfill waste makes it the perfect environmentally sustainable product. Unlike traditional agricultural mulch and plastic agricultural mulch covers, it doesn’t have a single negative attribute,” he says.

Cruickshank points out that while the developed world is currently preoccupied with concerns about energy supplies, sooner or later it’s going to have to deal with what the underdeveloped world is already coming to grips with and that’s a growing shortage of fresh water. “EcoCover allows growers to make more efficient use of limited water resources, reducing usage by as much as 80%. In addition, it also reduces and in most instances eliminates the need to use herbicides which prevents the contamination of local groundwater supplies.”

Currently, the only truly effective agricultural mulch covers available to commercial growers are made of plastic and, as derivative petroleum products; they have limited application and present several unique handling problems. “Aside from the fact that polyethylene mulch mats share few of EcoCover’s positive attributes, landscapers increasingly dislike introducing further plastic on the landscape and farmers are fed up with the high cost and hassle of removing plastic from their fields. Many are also facing two additional problems - increasing landfill charges and outright refusals to landfill the material at all,” he says.

EcoCover solves both of these problems. Since the product is 100% biodegradable, it doesn’t have to be removed let alone disposed of. Its use also reduces paper and plastic waste which accounts for more than 40% of most landfills.

EcoCover’s agricultural mulch covers are backed by two years of independent University research which can be viewed on the company’s website. An additional four years were devoted to the perfection of the current production facility which serves as a model for expanded global operations.

EcoCover has received the coveted endorsement of AgriQuality, New Zealand’s leading organic certifier, as well as the right to display the prestigious label “Environmental Choice New Zealand”. AgriQuality, New Zealand’s leading organic certifier has approved EcoCover in respect of granting organic certification. AgriQuality is a fully accredited member of IFOAM, The International Federation of Agricultural Movements. Founded in Switzerland in 1972, IFOAM has more than 750 member organizations and institutions accredited to it, from more than 100 countries. The Environmental Choice Label License is all important because it opens doors. "Governments or companies subscribing to a ’Buy Green’ or ’Greening of Purchasing’ policy use such accreditation to determine their preferred suppliers.

EcoCover is environmentally beneficial (not neutral) and the New Zealand Government through the Ministry for the Environment has 19 core Government agencies including the country’s largest roading landscape enterprise signed up to this standard. A company with the approved accreditation such as the Environmental Choice Label will be a preferred supplier to all such agencies. EcoCover is only the 13th company in New Zealand to meet the demanding audit requirements for this License. The standard is measured against the three pillars of sustainability, namely environmental, economic and social. EcoCover excels in each category.

EcoCover has been patented in 21 countries and presents itself as an attractive business investment opportunity for companies in commodity (price taker) markets. “An investment in an EcoCover production plant affords them the means to reinvent themselves and to remain competitive. EcoCover also allows manufacturers in traditional agricultural supply markets facing increasing global competition brought about by the removal or lowering of trade barriers, the means to get a jump on the competition,” Cruickshank says.

As a manufacturing business, Cruickshank believes EcoCover offers a uniquely sustainable business plan not only because the demand for the product is assured, but that the production process is not labor intensive nor is it challenging to operate. A plant can be profitably run with a staff of 4-6 individuals who in New Zealand have been resourced from a long term, unskilled unemployment pool. Low labor costs and other key components of the manufacturing process afford early profitability. EcoCover’s use is not defined by geography, climate or industry. The product has been tested in a variety of climates and has proven to be a valuable means to insulate soil and plant roots in colder climates. In arid climates it provides growers the means to reduce water consumption and to sustain soil moisture.

What is more, as a manufacturing business, EcoCover offers an unlimited potential for diversification. “To cite just a few examples, in the construction industry EcoCover could be used as an insulator. It can be used for lovestock bedding, as landfill daily cover, padded floor coverings, used in a wide variety of packaging materials as well as an unlimited number of molded products,” Cruickshank says.

With satellite offices in Brisbane, California, Tennessee, London and Dubai, the company has positioned itself to start duplicating production facilities through the sale of this unique sustainable environmental business opportunity around the world. "We have every reason to believe that once a serious investor compares EcoCover’s Investment Profile and Information Memorandum and sample manufacturing business plan to the business plans of other manufacturing companies for sale, it will be one of those business investment opportunities that immediately rises to the top of the list.

“As an investor, if you are looking at starting your own manufacturing business, one with a sustainable business plan, EcoCover may be the answer you’ve been looking for,” Cruickshank says. Investors looking for business investment opportunities are encouraged to add EcoCover’s manufacturing business opportunity to their list.

To obtain further information as well as a sample of the product itself, interested parties are encouraged to contact one of the company’s regional representatives.

For more information visit the EcoCover website:
CONTACT: Murray Cruickshank, CEO
EcoCover Developments Limited
New Zealand
P: *64 (0) 9 836 3338
F: *64 (0) 9 836 3318
M: *64 (0) 21 835854


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