Korean friendship a boon for QLD producers

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th March 2011

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said today the longstanding and valuable relationship between Australia and the Republic of Korea will benefit Queensland’s food producers.

“2011 is the Year of Friendship between Australia and the Republic of Korea,” Mr Mulherin said.

“The Year of Friendship recognises and celebrates 50 years of trade and friendship between the two countries.

“This is a great opportunity to continue to grow our relationship here in Queensland with our fourth largest export market, valued at $4.7 billion a year to the Queensland economy.”

Mr Mulherin also stated that in his new role as Minister for Food he is committed to growing Queensland’s reputation as a clean green producer.

“Queensland’s clean green produce has an incredible reputation in South Korea to be of high-quality, healthy and attractive to the discerning consumer,” Mr Mulherin said.

“Yesterday I met with a Korean trade delegation from the Shinsegae Group, South Korea’s largest retailer.

“The Shinsegae Group runs supermarkets, catering, food engineering and food culture companies in Korea and has a sales turnover of US$495 million a year.

“They are a major importer of Queensland seafood, beef and mangos – and are keen to expand this relationship.

“We are building on the relationship I forged with a subsidiary of Shinsegae Group, E-Mart – who I met with while on a trade mission to Korea last year.”

Mr Mulherin said in January, Shinsegae Group signed a contract for $1.25 million to import wild caught banana prawns from Queensland companies A Raptis and Son and Seafarm.

“They also imported more than $60 million worth of Queensland beef products last year, and for the first time last year mangoes were exported to South Korea and distributed through the Shinsegae,” he said.

“Members of the delegation were pleased to hear that Queensland is still open for business and fresh produce exports, despite enduring a few challenging months of natural disasters.

“Queensland agriculture has taken a hit from recent floods and cyclones, but the outlook is good for many producers – and we want to do everything we can to help those producers promote their products in Australia and overseas – letting the world know we are Back in Business.

“In my meeting with the Shinsegae Group I reassured them of Queensland’s continued ability to increase our exports of high-quality Queensland products.

“Throughout this year of friendship we will continue to use opportunities like this to promote the growth of Queensland fresh produce exports.”