ECA featured member: Down Under Enterprises

ECA Member Down Under Enterprises has been with the ECA for over five years now.

“Our business is over 90 per cent export – so we felt like we needed to be connected with ECA and the resources which ECA makes available to members,” said Phillip Prather, Head of Marketing and Operations at Down Under Enterprises.

Down Under Enterprises is an Australian family owned and operated company which grows, manufactures, markets, and exports across the globe a range of native Australian ingredients on a wholesale basis to manufacturers of products for the cosmetics/personal care, home care, pet care and other industries.

While their leading product is Tea Tree Oil, renowned globally for its antimicrobial properties, the company is also well recognised for a wide range of other Australian native ingredients like Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Lemon Myrtle, and many more.

“Our company was founded in 2001 and until 2014, our sales were 100% export. In fact when we applied for the Export Awards that year, we listed 100% export and ECA contacted us thinking it was a typo on our submission. Our target markets have always been export oriented, to the US originally, and now across all continents and key markets globally,” Mr Prather said.

The company’s key industry verticals are cosmetics and home care products. Both of these industries are becoming more and more quality and regulatory focused.

“A significant amount of our time is spent working through product documentation, regulatory submissions, and various certifications to enable our products to be adopted by companies, especially the multi-nationals. These industries are moving towards a more regulated medical/pharma ingredient environment. What makes it even more challenging is staying up to date with each country/region’s specific requirements – and this level of regulatory scrutiny is constantly increasing,” he added.

“The most exciting thing that happned for Down Under Enterprises in 2020 was the consumer’s reactions to personal care and home care products once confronted with such a health crisis such as COVID-19.
Prior to the epidemic, some manufacturers turned a blind eye to ingredient purity and quality, as long as it gave them the ‘least cost’ option (often adulterated product). From early in the Coronavirus outbreak, we were overwhelmed by manufacturers wanting pure Tea Tree Oil for their personal care and home care cleaning products. When we quizzed them about their requirements, they often stated that it was due to overwhelming consumer demand for purity of the Tea Tree Oil – and Australian origin in particular. So in effect, when consumers’ health was really on the line, they sought out Australian grown Tea Tree Oil, spurning cheap, lowest cost alternatives.”