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OUR COMPANY

Every investment channeled through us is not just financlally but also ethically sound

Agarwood’s behaviour as an asset with stable returns and low correlation to financial assets

Register your interest with us now to find out more
info@greenharvestcapital.com
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CEO’s Message

Since late 2007 and early 2008, the global economy has suffered a major downturn. The global crisis such as the ‘credit crunch’ has left financial institutions including banks, pension funds, blue chip companies and credit providers in financial turmoil. As a result, the returns from traditional assets, such as property, stocks and shares have been poor, and in some cases yielded negative returns. Yet despite the downturn, one area of industry has shown great promise; and demand has increased for investments that are dependable. We believe that it is these ‘green’ and sustainable investment vehicles that will continue to grow and will act as a safeguard for future wealth.

The demand for farmland will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, yet its supply is fundamentally limited. Agricultural assets are unique amongst resource investments in that, with the right management, they will continue to produce valuable commodities in perpetuity. They are an important component of the capital base of most large economies, yet constitute a tiny fraction of the average investor’s portfolio. This is despite having delivered superior risk adjusted returns over almost any time period compared to other asset classes.

In the past decade, Bank Negara Malaysia has reported that the agriculture sector alone registered year-on-year growth without being drastically affected by the last economic downturn.

Green Harvest was established with the vision of establishing, cultivating and managing sustainable agricultural ventures. We have identified and developed certain crops which are able to deliver superior returns yet remain sustainable. The diverse background of our team in agriculture, finance and investment brings a depth and thoroughness to our analytical approach that allows us to truly add value.

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About Us

With more than 20 years of professional experience in plantation management and trading over various Asian and Middle Eastern countries, Green Harvest was established in 2013 as the plantation management arm headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are staffed by highly professional agricultural consultants who manage forestry plantations.

We work closely with our technology partner and together, we believe in an ecologically responsible approach towards sustainable practices and organic harvesting methods. Our methodology in inoculating Agarwood trees is a unique process developed cohesively with our technology partners. This process has been thoroughly researched over many years with emphasis on maximum yield while maintaining sustainability of the plantations.

We have built a strong team of hands-on managers and staff who are devoted to the common objective of achieving the highest standards for our plantations.

We are committed to the use of best management practices, which include good field and harvesting standards and timely application of inoculations to optimize yields.

We have also established stringent corporate social responsibility policies and procedures to ensure that our plantations are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

Our practices include directly providing a means of livelihood for local families and ensures that our precious resources will last for many years to come.

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Mission & Values

Green Harvest’s primary mission is to become the world’s preferred Plantation Management Service Provider. We are dedicated to building long-term relationships with our clients by strengthening trust and building confidence. We believe in delivering optimal return on expenditure; unparalleled in quality and function, and that every client should be entitled to the highest level of service at all times.
TO PROVIDE SUPERIOR SUSTAINABLE CROP PLANTATIONS TO OUR CLIENTS
Perpetual Long Term Focus. Green Harvest is in this business for the long haul and our focus is far reaching. We don’t believe in quick fixes but rather in solid, sustainable and durable solutions that strengthen our business and move it forward while enhancing our credibility and reputation in the market. We always consider how our decisions will impact the business in the long run.
TO DEVELOP AND IMPROVE LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Giving Back Before Receiving. At our plantation sites, instead of hiring foreign workers; we at Green Harvest employ local aboriginals (Orang Asli) of the area to contribute in the development of their communities with the goal of improving their quality of life.
TO NURTURE THE ENVIRONMENT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Building a Better World for our Children. At Green Harvest, we are committed to nurture the environment with sustainable plantation methods. Our plantation practices are designed to have an optimal ecological footprint to maintain an equilibrium that does not negatively affect the environment. With this in mind, we empower everyone at Green Harvest with a leadership role to make the necessary changes for the improvement in business processes.
TO ENGAGE IN ETHICAL AND TRUSTWORTHY BUSINESS PRACTICES
Pride in our Integrity. At Green Harvest, we act with honesty, integrity and transparency without compromise. We honor our commitments and we demonstrate the Green Harvest culture in everything we do. We deliver on our promises by both our words and our actions. We aim to reinforce customer relations and create partnerships that are difficult to be defined by words alone.

TO PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT OF HIGH PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Thinking Outside the Box. Continual Innovation is an approach we adopt, from operational procedures to inoculation processes. Continuous improvement is essential to remaining competitive and to achieve our mission of exceeding customer expectations. It is at the heart of our business growth. This meaning always looking for creative solutions to complement our business.

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Our Land

One of our core activities is in searching for suitable lands for the cultivation of our trees and crops. We have developed the expertise to accurately assess the land and weather for its capability to grow healthy trees and crops.

We currently grow and manage Agarwood and Teak plantations all around South East Asia. Our major Agarwood plantations are located in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Green Harvest have partnered with several strategic land owners and plantation developers in these countries for the development of Agarwood, Teak and its downstream products.

This little heard of sector provides the Group with opportunities to reap double digit net annual returns on a consistent basis and capitalizes both on the oil-backed demand from Middle Eastern nations and the raw material demand from China that dominate the buyer markets.

Our lands go through our stringent quality control to ensure that the best conditions are met for growing Agarwood and Teak trees. This involves the monitoring of local weather conditions, testing of soil quality for ideal pH levels, supply of adequate fresh water and even studying the surrounding lands.

We have chosen the lands in Southeast Asia due to the all year round consistent seasons. For instance, Malaysia is hot and humid all year round, with an average temperature of 27 °C (80.6 °F) and almost no variability in the yearly temperature. Tropical rainforests encompass between 59% to 70% of Malaysia’s total land area, of which 11.6% is pristine. The rainfall and moderate temperatures provides for conditions that encourages flora growth which explains the large amount of rainforests in Malaysia. These are ideal parameters for the growth of Agarwood trees. Malaysia is also home to Taman Negara National Park in central Peninsular Malaysia which is 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

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AGARWOOD

Agarwood is a dark, aromatic and resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees (large evergreens native to southeast Asia) when they become infected with a type of mould. The resin embedded wood is commonly called gaharu, jinko, aloeswood, agarwood, or oud and is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incense and perfumes.

Fewer than 8% of trees produce the valuable Agarwood in nature. Since high quality Agarwood takes a long time to form naturally and only a small percentage of trees produce them naturally, it follows that the demand far exceeds the supply.

The unmatched unique properties of Agarwood combined with its rarity has allowed it to command respectably high prices worldwide.
HISTORY
For thousands of years this resinous wood was burned as incense during meditation and prayer. Many religious groups including Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists and Christians consider Agarwood the most precious of materials and refer to it as the ‘Wood of the Gods’. Agarwood incense emits a calming effect and increases a person’s body energy or “chi”. For these qualities, some local cultures have utilized it as a medicinal component. Its pleasing fragrance has been enjoyed throughout the world and is even practiced as an intriguing aromatic art form in Japan called the koh-doh ceremony.
SCENT
Not all Agarwood is exactly the same and slight differences in aroma are common. Incense masters form the 16th century identified several types and named them Rakoku, Manaban, Sasora, and Sumatora with flavors like spicy, sweet, salty, and bitter. The one that is considered to have the most elegant scent, Kayara, combines all the flavors together in the same piece of Agarwood. Today’s incense masters can determine the regional origin of the Agarwood from its aroma and can even differentiate slight variances that may be found in Agarwood from within one region.
SCIENCE
The essence of Agarwood is due to complex compounds produced by the tree called sesquiterpenes and chromones. The type and quantity of the many diverse compounds in the resinous wood create the fragrance. These compounds are produced as a defense mechanism in the living tree to ward off microbial attack and are developed only under very specific circumstances. New methods to cultivate Agarwood in plantation grown trees stimulate these naturally occurring compounds. Normally produced in old growth trees and taking decades to accumulate, the resin can now be produced in young trees.
RARITY
Locals cut down Agarwood trees indiscriminately in search of the valuable fragrant producing resin. As a result, there are hardly any of these trees left in the world. Since high quality Agarwood takes a long time to form naturally and only a small percentage of trees produce them, it has led to the current situation of a large demand that far exceeds the supply.

Overharvesting and habitat loss threatens some populations of Agarwood producing species. Since 1995 Aquilaria malaccensis (AgarWood), the primary source, has been listed in Appendix II (potentially threatened species) by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES). In 2004 all Aquilaria species were listed in Appendix II. The listing makes it illegal to harvest or trade the commodity without a CITIES permit. Private sector investment in commercial and sustainable plantations has led the drive to protect the trees in the natural forest by providing a viable substitute.

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INOCULATION PROCESS

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The formation of the Agarwood resin can be classified into Natural Inoculation, Traditional Inoculation & Artificial Inoculation.

Natural Inoculation

Historically, the Agarwood resin will only produce from a natural defense mechanism to natural effects such as trees struck by lighting, animal and insect attacks, forest fires, wind or storm damage and trees invaded by fungus. Resin produced in this natural way usually takes a very long time (approximately 70 years), but such resin provides a very natural and pure fragrance due to the long period of incubation. The yield to obtain the resin this way are very low, only representing less than 7% from the wild.

Traditional Inoculation

As the uses of Agarwood become popular, traditional methods were introduced a few decades ago to coax the production of resin. The methods used were physically damaging the tree with nails, hammers, blades, drilling holes or fire damage. Some unorthodox methods such as the application of toxic materials on the skin of the tree to stimulate the tree were also utilised. However, such methods still only produced a low yield and the quality were inferior or were of lower grade. Such resin have a plain fragrance and has very small percentage of essential oil.

Artificial Inoculation

As the uses of Agarwood become popular, traditional methods were introduced a few decades ago to coax the production of resin. The methods used were physically damaging the tree with nails, hammers, blades, drilling holes or fire damage. Some unorthodox methods such as the application of toxic materials on the skin of the tree to stimulate the tree were also utilised. However, such methods still only produced a low yield and the quality were inferior or were of lower grade. Such resin have a plain fragrance and has very small percentage of essential

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AGARWOOD MARKET

uses

For many in the Middle East there is no acceptable substitute for the use of Agarwood in their ceremonies. Wood chips are burned for their distinct fragrance that is inviting to guests and is a symbol of hospitality and the wood itself gifted as a display of wealth and success.

Oudh oil is extracted from the tree and distilled into one of the most valuable natural oil on earth. Half a teaspoon of oud oil made from 100-year-old trees for Oman’s Sultan Qaboos in 1982 sold to a private collector in 2012 for $7,000. In China, demand for top-quality resin has pushed prices as high as $300,000 per kilogram. Sales of oud fragrances rose 34 percent in 2012, according to New York-based consumer research firm NPD Group Inc.

Today, out of more than a thousand new scents released annually, one in eight contains oud. The developing taste for oud reflects “trends for intense, intriguing, daring scents that tap into a desire to travel and experience other cultures,” fragrance historian Elena Vosnaki says, and has helped drive sales of prestige male fragrances in the U.S. alone to $953 million. Recognised perfume brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci, Juicy Couture and Calvin Klein have all launched fragrances centered around the oud aroma. In the past year, Armani, Dior (CDI), Ferrari and even the Body Shop have all jumped on the bandwagon. Used as a luxurious and exotic fragrance, it has an aroma that is woody and complex. Unlike many modern fragrances, the aroma is long lasting. Some have even described it as transcendent.

In other parts of Southeast Asia, prime aromatic Agarwood pieces are crafted into bracelet beads that are used for both fashion and religious purposes.

Agarwood has even been used as an aromatic ingredient in wine in Taiwan, adding a complexity of flavor that cannot be found elsewhere. Agarwood has also been in demand for medicinal purposes for thousands of years throughout Southeast Asia. Grounded into powder, Agarwood is valued in Aurvedic, Tibetan and East Asian medicine for its ability to treat a range of disorders.

The First International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood (ISSA 2013)held at the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), during 2013 under the auspices of Associate Professor Dr. Rozi Mohamed revealed that the laxative properties of the leaves of the tree can used as a traditional herbal tea have been confirmed.

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AGARWOOD PRICES

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There are more than 80 countries that import Agarwood annually but the biggest importers of the commodity are the UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Japan. Major exporters are Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand; with Singapore being one of the major trading hub in the world.

Pure oud oil is distilled from the Agarwood tree’s heartwood, and is renowned for being the rarest fragrant material on earth. The quality of the oud depends on the maturity of the tree and the amount of resin produced; whereby it requires a painstaking distillation process to be extracted. Premium oud oil commands high prices globally, and is becoming more precious by the day.

Top grade oud oil is traded around the world for about USD350 to USD500 per tola (11.66 ml).

Agarwood trees at 7 years growth would normally yield around 2-5 tolas per tree. Artificially inoculated Agarwood trees are generally ready for harvest after 12-18 months after inoculation, whilst traditionally inoculated trees may take 36-48 months after inoculation. As the Agarwood tree continues to mature, its yield increases and it is known to age well over a hundred years.

Today, out of more than a thousand new scents released annually, one in eight contains oud. The developing taste for oud reflects “trends for intense, intriguing, daring scents that tap into a desire to travel and experience other cultures,” fragrance historian Elena Vosnaki says, and has helped drive sales of prestige male fragrances in the U.S. alone to $953 million. Recognised perfume brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci, Juicy Couture and Calvin Klein have all launched fragrances centered around the oud aroma. In the past year, Armani, Dior (CDI), Ferrari and even the Body Shop have all jumped on the bandwagon. Used as a luxurious and exotic fragrance, it has an aroma that is woody and complex. Unlike many modern fragrances, the aroma is long lasting. Some have even described it as transcendent.

In other parts of Southeast Asia, prime aromatic Agarwood pieces are crafted into bracelet beads that are used for both fashion and religious purposes.

Agarwood has even been used as an aromatic ingredient in wine in Taiwan, adding a complexity of flavor that cannot be found elsewhere. Agarwood has also been in demand for medicinal purposes for thousands of years throughout Southeast Asia. Grounded into powder, Agarwood is valued in Aurvedic, Tibetan and East Asian medicine for its ability to treat a range of disorders.

The First International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood (ISSA 2013)held at the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), during 2013 under the auspices of Associate Professor Dr. Rozi Mohamed revealed that the laxative properties of the leaves of the tree can used as a traditional herbal tea have been confirmed.

ESTIMATED OIL OUTPUT OF A 7 YEAR OLD TREE

 

Estimated Oil Produce Estimated Income Generated
2-5 Tola (24-60ml) 2-5 Tola (24-60ml)

Used as a raw component for high-end fragrances by fashion houses such as Dior, Tom Ford,
Yves Saint Laurent and Estee Lauder, it also goes into the making of soaps and essential oils for aromatherapy.

 

ESTIMATED RESINOUS WOOD OUTPUT OF A 7 YEAR OLD TREE

Estimated Wood Produce Estimated Income Generated
2-5 Kilogram USD 1,200 – 3,000/per tree

A 7 year old tree can produce 2-5 kilogram of resinous wood chip which can be sold at USD1,200 to 3,000 in total.

At the core of the local market, based on quality Agarwood sold, certain grades can fetch prices of between USD USD1,000.00 to USD USD50,000.00/kg.

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TEAKWOOD

Teak (tectona grandis), belongs to the family Verbenaceae and is one of the most well-known and commercially used tropical timber species, commonly referred to as the ‘king of the woods’. Its weather resistant properties and decorative grain makes it one of the world’s premier hardwood timbers, where it is used for structural timber, furniture and shipbuilding. It has become an established commodity that is grown in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The demand for Teak remains high as it is popular in the emerging economies of China and India whilst the majority of its supply is from unsustainable sources. As of the first quarter of 2015, the average market value of Teak is US$1500.00 per cubic meter according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).
TEAK CHARACTERISTICS
Durability: As teak matures, the wood becomes extremely hard and dense making it impervious to all types of weather conditions as well as being resistant to termite and teredo infestation.

Pest Repellent: Due to its high natural content of resinous oil, teak has a very high resistance to insects, pests and termites. Teak is the preferred material in house building throughout Asia and is also popular in California and Australia where termites pose a significant risk to residential dwellings.

Aesthetic beauty: In addition to its durability, a main selling point of teak is its rich deep grain, which results from its high oil content. This characteristic produces a gleaming look that teak products boast, making it an ideal choice for indoor as well as outdoor furniture.

Low Maintenance: The chemical makeup of teak makes it a very low maintenance product which makes it an ideal material for products such as telegraph poles and decking.
TEAK USES
Structural Timber: Due to its extraordinary endurance and high resistance to fungus, termites and chemicals, teak is a structural timber for special requirements that is appreciated around the world such as house building, telegraph poles, fence posts, railway sleepers and railcar construction.

Furniture: Teak furniture both indoor and outdoor makes up a high proportion of the global demand for teak. Its aesthetics and hardwearing characteristics coupled with its weather resistant properties make it the consumers’ first choice in quality furniture.

Sawn Timber: Teak is commonly used in its sawn form to create frame structures of all kinds, such as windows, garage doors and gates, staircases, parquet flooring, handrails and decorative casings.

Shipbuilding: Teakwood is used globally in the shipping and boat industries and has the reputation of lasting beyond the lifespan of the actual boat. Sailboats and power boats take advantage of the high silica content that provides non-skid qualities for the deck of any boat. The wood is also used for the interior doors, hatches, cabinetry, shelves and flooring within boats.
TEAK MARKET
Teak remains in high demand and is particularly popular in the emerging economies of China and India. In 2009, according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), India imported 87,290 m3 of sawn wood whereas China imported over 7 million m3.

More than 95% of the world’s teak are sourced from non-sustainable tropical sources. The global clampdown on illegal logging of tropical forests have drastically cut the supply of teak. Consequently, the demand for cultivated teak has grown substantially and is forecast to increase over the longer term.

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CASH CROPS

In addition to major timber species, we also manage and cultivate cash crops including but not limited to Cavendish Bananas, ginger and cassava. These crops have a shorter harvest period cycle but yet command respectable prices in the market.
CAVENDISH BANANAS
Cavendish bananas are hardy and commercially in demand globally. Cavendish bananas accounted for 47% of global banana production between 1998 and 2000, and the vast majority of bananas are traded internationally. It has a short harvest period of 6 to 9 months.

The fruits of the Cavendish bananas are eaten raw, used in baking, fruit salads, fruit compotes, and to complement foods.
CASSAVA
Cassava is an easy crop to grow, and it does not suffer from any serious pest or disease problems in South East Asia. It is able to grow in normal soil conditions and in drought-proven areas with little risk of complete crop failure.

However, to obtain a high and sustainable yield, the crop should be well managed and it should be planted at an optimum time of the first 3-4 months, and fertilized with chemical fertilizer and/ or manure to supply adequate amounts of all nutrients required by the crop particularly K and N.

Cassava will remain a highly competitive industrial crop only when high yields are achieved at low production costs by using specific specie varieties and good production practices.
CASSAVA USE
Cassava Dried Chips are in great demand all over the world for the production of ethanol. Global warning has placed great demand on nations to minimize the emission of Carbon Dioxide and other toxic gases into the atmosphere.

Ethanol is preferred because it does not emit carbon dioxide and contains Oxygen most premium motor spirits (PMS) used these days are wither E-10 or E-20, these mean 10 percent or 20 percent ethanol and 90 percent or 80 percent crude oil. The essence is to minimize the presence of toxic gases which deplete the ozone layer and exacerbate global warming.

RESPONSIBILITIES

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ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

One World, One Earth. In ensuring that our plantations are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, we at Green Harvest have taken a holistic approach to sustainability that is fully integrated into our business model.

We strive to follow a simple philosophy that our business must enhance stakeholder value while minimizing our environmental footprint.

We employ best farming practices by replenishing the soil with bio-organic nutrients to avoid synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Our methods allow us to nurture the trees with care, thus providing the perfect conditions for our trees and saplings.

Our reforestation approach of growing Agarwood trees in our regions have helped increase the biodiversity of flora and fauna whilst maintaining the area’s natural equilibrium.

DEFORESTATION
Deforestation has for many years been a threat to the global environment, and the rate of occurrence is increasing. It is a process that not only robs us of precious natural resources such as primal forests, but also adds to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) which leads to global warming.

While we value forests and agricultural land primarily for the food and other useful resources we derive from them, they serve an equally critical purpose in drawing in and retaining GHG. As trees grow and as land masses organic materials, they act to remove GHG, especially carbon, from the atmosphere and therefore contribute to a cleaner environment.

When trees die or land is disturbed, carbon is released back into the atmosphere. The extent of deforestation today is thus hurting the environment in significant ways. By actively cultivating new trees and conserving existing natural Agarwood forests, we are playing our part to help curb deforestation and therefore save our environment.

CLIMATE CHANGE
The process of global warming has seen mean temperatures around the world rising since the middle of the last century. The primary cause of global warming is the sizable emission of greemhouse gases, which is in turn caused largely by human activities.

Global warming brings with it dire consequences for our entire planet. Sea levels will rise and coastal communities will be destroyed. Deserts will expand, weather conditions will become increasingly extreme, species will go into extinction and agricultural output severely affected.

We recognise the problem of global warming, and in all our activities will ensure that we in no way contribute to this situation but instead help mitigate it through our policies of eco-friendliness and sustainability.

ILLEGAL LOGGING
The worldwide problem of illegal logging is severe, and is one major reason for the rapid deforestation we are witnessing and indirectly to the problem of global warming. The limited income sources available to many agricultural communities is a main cause, as it makes them vulnerable to exploitation by those seeking to profiteer from robbing the world of its forest resources.

It is one of our aspirations to better the lives of the communities on whose lands we cultivate on. It has thus always been our practice to employ locals as far as possible, offering them a viable livelihood in terms of fair wages and meaningful benefits. This will also reduce the likelihood of such communities being drawn into illegal forestry, and indirectly prevent the severe deforestation that is as a result taking place all over the world.

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AGARWOOD IN THE NEWS

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AGARWOOD LEAVES ADD TWIST TO HOMEGROWN TEA
Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A LOCAL tea blended from Gaharu or Agarwood leaves has made its way into the market offering tea lovers another reason to sip their favourite drink.

Marketed by Compugates Marketing Sdn Bhd, the homegrown tea, sold as Treesure Gaharu Tea is harvested from Agarwood trees in the foothills of Kuala Kangsar, Perak. The tea is now being served in a handful of restaurants in the Klang Valley.

Compugates Marketing executive director See Thoo Chan said that the tea is a great option for people seeking a refreshing drink after a hard day’s work.

She said the Agarwood plantation had been in operations since 2010 but only recently had the leaves been harvested to produce the tea.

“The gaharu tea is individually packed in a foil packs to ensure freshness of the tea leaves and this premium blend of tea is handpicked by our experts,” said See.

The tea has no added additives or preservatives hence only the best and finest leaves are used to produce the tea.

“We believe in sharing the goodness straight from the tree to our consumers,” said See, adding that the company, which is known to many as a distributor of digital cameras and IT products, was excited about its new venture.

The Treesure Gaharu tea is organically grown in Kuala Kangsar, Perak on 21.8ha of land. The tea is naturally aromatic, rich in deep woody and spicy flavours. See says she feels the flavours will make the tea popular with local and international consumers.

At present, the tea is served at selected tea houses and restaurants such as the Grand Imperial Restaurant in One Utama, Petaling Jaya, Wellness Herbal Paradise Restaurant in Damansara Utama, Tea Republic in Bangsar Shopping Centre and T Nature Tea House in SS2.

It is also available in selected medical halls and pharmacies in the Klang Valley.

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13 Viets held for stealing agarwood
Friday July 11, 2014

BUTTERWORTH: Thirteen Vietnamese have been arrested for illegally possessing 5kg of agarwood.

The Penang Forestry Department caught them during a raid on a house in Simpang Ampat in south Seberang Prai in an hour-long operation which ended at 1am yesterday.

Department director Rosli Jamaluddin said the raiding party found 5kg of agarwood and equipment believed to have been used to chop the wood in the house.

He said the suspects, aged between 20 and 45, comprised six women and seven men.

He said the raid was conducted following a tip-off.

The suspects were later brought to the magistrate’s court here where a remand order was obtained to detain them for four days.

The case is being investigated under Section 68 of the National Forestry Act 1984 (amended 1993), which carries a maximum RM50,000 fine, a jail term of up to five years or both.

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Agarwood poachers at it again
Monday September 1, 2014

HIKERS were alarmed to find two agarwood trees felled along the wild boar trail, about half an hour from the Moongate entrance at Penang Hill.

Veteran walker Ch’ng Kok Yeong, 68, said he and his friend became angry when they saw the two chopped trees as they were going for their hike along the trail.

“The trees looked like they had been chopped down only recently.

“One of the trees was marked F3. From the look of its trunk, it must have been a big tree and it should not have been felled since it was not blocking the route at all,” he said on Thursday.

Ch’ng said he and his friend made the discovery at about 5.15pm on Wednesday.

Penang Hash House Harriers veteran runner Gurdial Singh, 55, said the trees were prized for their wood and medicinal value.

“I know the location of the agarwood trees by heart and the marked tree was about 100ft (30.48m) in height and about 2ft (0.6m) in diameter.

“It could have been chopped down a few days ago when the area was deserted because of the heavy rain,” he said.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, when contacted, said officers from the Penang Forestry Department would investigate the recent case.

He said the two trees were cut using electric saws.

“We face a lot of constraints when trying to take legal action against the culprits,” he said.

“Two months ago, all we could do was to help deport 15 Vietnamese poachers arrested for possessing five kilogrammes of agarwood.

“We believe that the chopping down of the trees was done by a syndicate and our priority is to ensure the safety of the people.

“We have people who check from time to time and report but we face a lack of manpower, with only six rangers monitoring the rainforests of the whole state,” said Phee.

He also said the state had opened up more hiking routes to the public and this could act as a deterrent for illegal loggers.

“We hope the hikers using the routes can help monitor the area,” he said.

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Agarwood theft rife
Friday April 11, 2014

JOHOR BARU: Illegal harvesting of gaharu (agarwood) by foreigners is rampant in Johor’s forests, especially in the Endau-Rompin National Park and Panti Forest Reserve, said Malay­sian Nature Society Johor chairman Vincent Chow.

He said there was good money to be made from gaharu wood as the highest grade could fetch up to RM60,000 per kilo while the low quality RM30,000 per kilo.

The syndicates, he claimed, knew their way around the forests, thus enabling them to avoid detection.

They were also armed with wea­pons and equipped with gadgets such as satellite phones while they were in the forests, he added.

He said Mersing and Kuala Rompin were the favourite staging points for them to enter the forests via rivers.

at night.

“Most of the poachers are Thais and Indonesians and they will normally spend about two weeks inside the forests to harvest the gaharu,” Chow claimed.

State health and environment chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the state government was aware of such illegal gaharu harvesting.

He said that static cameras installed on trees in the Endau-Rompin National Park to capture images of wild animals managed to record movements of illegal poachers.

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Foreigners target agarwood in Malaysian forest reserves
Tuesday April 15, 2014

AGARWOOD, more popularly known locally as gaharu, is the resin-embedded heartwood that forms in the Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees when they become infected with a type of mould.

Thanks to its fragrance, agarwood has been treasured by many cultures for centuries and is used as incense, perfume, medicine and even in sculptures.

The increased demand and escalating price of agarwood over the past 20 years have led to rampant harvesting in the wild, raising concerns that these trees, native to South-East Asia, may face extinction.

Depletion of wild resources in other South-East Asian countries has prompted illegal collectors to sneak into Malaysian forests, many of which are forest reserves, for the pricey commodity.

Aquilaria and Gyrinops have been listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The export of these items is closely watched by Customs, while the Malaysian Timber Industry Board is tasked with issuing the permits.

As for trading, the Gua Musang Guideline — which provides reccomendations on the harvest, trade and processing procedures for agarwood — states that all gaharu traders are only allowed to buy Aquilaria products from contractors registered with the state Forestry Department.

They also have to report to the department the amount of agarwood bought and sold, among other requirements.

Cultivation is another proactive effort to maintain the number of these trees, and they are infected artificially to produce agarwood in a sustainable manner for economic growth.

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