Friday, March 23, 2012
GERMANY - Gov. Rick
Snyder today announced that Hark Orchids L.P., an orchid propagation company
headquartered in Lippstadt, will invest approximately $5 million to establish
its first facility outside of Germany in Kalamazoo.
of Michigan for its first U.S. facility tells others across the globe that
Michigan holds great opportunities for their business expansion," Snyder said.
"This announcement comes as we wrap up a very busy, productive week with
companies in Italy and Germany. Our message that Michigan is more
business-friendly than ever is showing real results that will mean new jobs for
people across our state."
Founded in 1904, Hark Orchids is a family-owned
company offering hybridization, cultivation and propagation of orchids. Hark
plans to establish a 30,000 square-foot lab and climatic chambers facility,
investing approximately $5 million. The investment will create up to 80 jobs in
the next three to five years. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and
Southwest Michigan First supported the project with cash grants totaling
"Investments in Michigan's agriculture industry, like
Hark's investment in Kalamazoo, help our economic recovery by creating new
agriculture jobs and supporting our local communities," said Michigan Department
of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Keith Creagh. "Michigan currently
ranks third in the nation in floriculture production and is known for our high
quality floriculture products both in the U.S. and internationally."
Earlier in the day Snyder met with executives from BASF at its headquarters in
Ludwigshafen to thank the company for its strong commitment to Michigan and make
the case for additional investment and jobs in the future.
Jersey-based BASF Corp. was formed in 1986 and is the North American affiliate
of Germany-based BASF AG, one of the world's leading chemical companies.
Michigan BASF operates eight facilities and employs some 1,400 associates at
facilities in Wyandotte, Livonia, Southfield, Mattawan, Lincoln Park, Wixom,
Rochester Hills and Troy.
Today's announcement by Hark was one of
the more public highlights of Snyder's eight-day investment mission in Italy and
Germany, where he and a Michigan delegation have met with Italian and Germany
government officials and major company executives to promote business
opportunities in Michigan. The group will return home on Saturday.
"Southwest Michigan welcomes Hark to a new stage in the region's rich history
as the Bedding Plant Capital of the World. While the industry relied on the
region's microclimates and rich soil centuries ago, today its collaborative
infrastructure and bioscientific knowledge are helping it to blossom as shown by
the company's decision to locate here," said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest
The mission is Snyder's second since taking office
in 2011. Last September he led an eight-day trade mission in Asia, where he and
a Michigan delegation met with Japanese, Chinese and Korean government officials
and major company executives to promote business opportunities in Michigan.
Follow the governor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RickforMichigan
and on Twitter @OneToughNerd.
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|Gov. Rick Snyder, second
from right, meets with officials of Hark Orchids L.P. From the left are Anja
Hark-Bormann, Oliver Bormann, Ingrid Hark, Fritz Hark, Snyder and Karl-Heinz