The Directors, Graham and Barbara Todd, have been trading with China since 1960, and between them have made over 130 business trips to most of the provinces of China, and attended 52 Canton Fairs, acting as importers and exporters on their own behalf, and as buying and sales consultants for many major Australian Corporations seeking to enter the China market in a wide range of fields. Hence the company name!

Graham and Barbara have always had a love of the agricultural, horticultural and nursery industries which lead to their involvement in opening up the first official Australia China Botanical exchange in 1973, just a few months after the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two countries in December 1972. Many “firsts” in our China trade history have been achieved as you can view on our Company History Timeline.


Managing Director, G. Graham Todd, has completed some 92 visits to China and attended 52 consecutive Canton Fairs over these many years. Many “firsts” in our China trade history have been achieved as follows:

1964 Arranged first Australian Fresh Foods Promotion in Hong Kong, everything from Tasmania, to major hotels, clubs and restaurants.
1969 Our first visit to “Canton Fair” in Guangzhou to establish bilateral trade.
1972 First live sheep exports to China by air from Sydney, for our client, Dalgety Ltd.
1973 Opened first official botanical exchange between Australia and China with introductory letter and eucalypt seeds from Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney to South China Botanical Institute.
1973 Founding Member Australia/China Business Cooperation Committee (Vice President for over 15 years).
1974 First Qantas flight to China (Boeing 707 freighter) – 30 live cattle and 90 sheep for Australian Exhibition in Beijing – Australia’s largest ever staged.
1974 Our Company appointed major contractor to successfully undertake salvage of several thousand cubic metres of sawn Oregon and hemlock timber which went overboard from MV “Star Kerry” when entering Sydney Harbour during the worst storm ever – 7th May 1974.
1975 Arranged first Australian tourists (1000 persons) permitted to China (farmers’ tours we arranged for our client, Dalgety Travel).
1976 First macadamia/pecan tree exports to China to start this new industry, donated by our Company.
1977 First irrigation equipment exports to China, donated by our client, James Hardie Irrigation.
1978 First raspberry cane exports to China to start this new industry, donated by our Company.
1979 First banana (tissue culture) exports to China of new varieties, donated by our Company.
1980 Assisted in arranging first “Canton Fair” in Sydney for Guangdong Government.
1980 First language/culture courses, Redlands School, Sydney (other lecturers included Mr Robin Amy, NSW Overseas Trade Authority).
1985 Arranged China’s first overseas agricultural machinery and equipment display (in Australia as guest nation, Australian National Agricultural Field Days at Orange, New South Wales).
1986 First Cattle Embryo Transplant technology to China with Dr. Roger Bilton – world famous veterinarian and Embryo Transplant technology expert. All expenses paid by Australian Government, including new milking and shearing machinery.
1986 First joint venture irrigation farm project in Guangzhou introducing new subtropical fruits and vegetables from Australia, for our client, James Hardie Ltd.
1989 First release in world in Sydney Botanic Gardens of Rhapis Multifida Palm – “Jade Empress” ™ – “Finest palm in the world!”
1993 First exports by sea to Hong Kong/China of live Kentia palms, including a ten metre specimen.
1995 Exported our donation of the first live Australian native trees and palms to the Grand Flower Park in Guangzhou, including a contribution from the New South Wales Government
1997 Arranged world’s largest ever movement comprising 90 super advanced fig trees in six trips by ocean going tug and barge from Tweed Heads to Sydney to form the main Boulevard of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
2000 Another new development is our recent exports of the Macrozamia moorei (Zamia Palm) and Xanthorrhoea johnsonii (Grass Tree) to Europe and South East Asia.
2001 We have now started exports of the Internationally famous Helidon Sandstone which can be shipped in large blocks, or in cut pieces, to suit our international clients’ requirements.
2002 We were awarded 1 Gold Award and 4 Silver Awards for our display of Australian Trees and Helidon Sandstone, at the Fourth China International Garden and Flower Exposition in Guangzhou, China.
2004 Largest Queensland Bottle Trees (up to 26 tons) exported to China.
2005 First white and also red Jacarandas to Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
2007 Specimen palms & Frangipanis to “Qualia”, Hamilton Island.
2008 Supplied many specimen palms and trees to South Bank in Brisbane and Gold Coast City Council projects.
2009 Large Livistona palms for Airlie Beach and Townsville Marina projects.
2010 Volunteered to help Australian Geological Society to source large significant (20-25 ton) specimen rocks to go into the new National Rock Garden at Lake Burley Griffin, celebrating Canberra Centenary 2013.
2011 Meetings with major Australian Oil, Gas, Coal, Iron Ore operators and regional Councils, seeking their assistance for National Rock Garden, Lake Burley Griffin.
2012 First government approved exports to Japan of advanced ex ground Queensland Bottle Trees.
2012 We celebrate our 40th anniversary of the official registration of China Trading Company Pty. Ltd. – 9th May 1972.
2013/2014 Supply continues to major government, commercial and high end residential projects throughout Australia.
2015 More Macrozamia exports to China
2016 Macrozamias to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Winton, to the National Rock Garden project in Canberra, and exports to China.
2017/2020 Supplied big specimen Palms, Cycads and Grass Trees to major public and private projects here in Australia and China.

This botanical association has expanded dramatically over the last 30 years, including the Company being responsible for the introduction of the first Australian Macadamia and Pecan tree stocks, numerous new varieties of Subtropical Fruits and Vegetables, Raspberries, Strawberries, Bananas and gifts of Australian native trees, palms, plants and seeds.

Forty years ago there were no private gardens in China, just a few pot plants on apartment block and factory balconies. Now the China garden scene is in full “blossom”, all year round, with the introduction of the massive collection of plant material available from all over the world. Many new public and private landscaping projects in China have imported their big trees and palms, which are carefully selected and prepared for shipment.

Meantime, between the many business visits to China and other countries, Graham and Barbara set up a large Rhapis palm nursery at Alstonville in northern New South Wales, and started the long process of establishing a network of major palm and tree growers from Hobart to Port Douglas, Darwin to Perth, and back through Adelaide to Brisbane. This gave us access to the widest range of top quality plant material grown all over our lovely country, which we now supply to clients in Australia and around the world. Our most challenging and rewarding project was the sourcing and transport of ninety huge Ficus Hillii via six trips by ocean-going tug and barge from Tweed Heads to Sydney to form the Sydney 2000 Olympic main boulevard. This was the largest ever such movement in the world by ocean transport with 100% success.