KALAMAZOO — Gov. Rick Snyder Friday announced that Hark Orchids L.P., an orchid grower headquartered in Lippstadt, Germany, will invest $5 million to establish its first location outside of Germany in Kalamazoo.
âHarkâs choice of Michigan for its first U.S. facility tells others across the globe that Michigan holds great opportunities for their business expansion,â Snyder said. âThis 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.âREAD MORE: MDHHS Reports 106 New COVID-19 Outbreaks In Schools
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 agricultural laboratory and climatic chamber, 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 $750,000.
âInvestments in Michiganâs agriculture industry, like Harkâs investment in Kalamazoo, help our economic recovery by creating new agriculture jobs and supporting our local communities,â said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Keith Creagh. âMichigan 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.â
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.READ MORE: Here's How Detroit Ranks Among The Most Violent Big Cities In The US
New 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 locations and employs some 1,400 associates at facilities in Wyandotte, Livonia, Southfield, Mattawan, Lincoln Park, Wixom, Rochester Hills and Troy.
Todayâs announcement by Hark was one of the more public highlights of Snyderâs 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.
âSouthwest Michigan welcomes Hark to a new stage in the regionâs rich history as the Bedding Plant Capital of the World,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of the Kalamazoo-based economic development agency Southwest Michigan First. “While the industry relied on the regionâs microclimates and rich soil centuries ago, today its collaborative infrastructure and bioscientific knowledge are helping it to blossom as shown by the companyâs decision to locate here.âMORE NEWS: Ford Making Its Biggest Single Manufacturing Investment Ever To Build Electric Vehicle Factories
The mission is Snyderâs 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.