Going global to boost Queensland agricultural exports

Posted by James Ferre on 13th October 2008

A new campaign has been launched to help take Queensland produce to the world, the state’s Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin has reported.Mr Mulherin noted the state’s exporters had reaped rewards via the Asian Markets for Horticulture Initiative (AMHI) and suggests the next strategy will be bolder than the last. “Now we are going bigger with a new campaign – the Global Markets Initiative – that will promote a range of producers not just horticulture and it will focus not just on Asia but also Europe, America, the UK and the Middle East,” he stated.

Speaking at this year’s Blueprint for the Bush Forum in Charters Towers, Mr Mulherin said the new focus would open up further markets to Queensland agriculture.

“Agriculture is the second largest export industry for Queensland, with food and fibre exports valued at around $6.1 billion and growing, thanks to export initiatives such as AMHI,” he noted. “We achieved many successes during the three-year program, most notably the first direct shipment of Australian mangoes to China in December last year.”

“Honey Murcott mandarins also found a market in China, which resulted in exports valued at $1 million.”

“We also established significant new export business contacts for Queensland producers and conducted breakthrough research on controlling diseases in order to make more of our produce attractive for export markets,” Mr Mulherin added. “We want to now help producers expand their opportunities by looking even further afield.”

“For example, Europe has been identified as a key market due to our counter-seasonal production and new technology that is making sea freight of fresh produce a more viable option for exporters. Our advantage is that we have a diverse climate which allows us to supply products world-wide at times when other markets are out of season.”

“The core driver of this Blueprint for the Bush initiative is a whole supply chain focus, which enables us to bring all elements together – from in-field development, pest and disease management, market access to eventual export – into one coordinated approach. There is also scope for other industry sectors, in addition to horticulture, to benefit from the initiative, which will be explored further in the new initiative,” Mr Mulherin suggested.

Current projects  for the initiative include further shipments of mangoes to China but also to Europe, the Middle East and Singapore, identifying suitable markets for the expanding macadamia industry and selling avocados to Europe and south east Asia.

The new Global Markets Initiative will take over from AMHI as a key Blueprint for the Bush initiative for the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.