Aussie food exporters push “green” friendly brand

Posted by Isobel Drake on 8th January 2009

All the world wanted for Christmas this year was an enviromentally friendly feast and Aussie exporters were showing the way, according to Austrade Chief Economist Tim Harcourt.

“Two of the staple Christmas feast items that (graced) the world’s tables this festive season (were) sustainable Aussie foods,” said Mr Harcourt. “Rainbow Valley Turkeys and Pudding Lane’s Macadamia and Brandy Pudding will be a big hit at Christmas feasts around the world. The great thing about these products is that they are made with thought for the environment and are further evidence of Australia’s commitment to our international “green” friendly brand.”

“Rainbow Valley Turkeys, who are selling into Taiwan and Malaysia, fully abide by international and domestic animal welfare standards, with birds enjoying ideal conditions in a natural and wholesome environment,” Mr Harcourt reported. “Whenever the company make a decision on new equipment or procedure they take into account the environmental impact. For example, they’ve established plantations of native trees at their new production facilities to help offset carbon emissions.”

Exposure to Asian buyers increased during the festive season, Mr Harcourt explained, with Australian exporters increasingly finding their way into the Asian market as more countries open up to international trade and western influences.

Pudding Lane, who sell to the UK, uses eco-friendly methods including recycling all cardboard and paper packaging. Their packaging is made from 100% recycled material- and is hand stitched by a local charity group – The House with No Steps. The only disposable part of the pudding making process is a short piece of twine used to tie the pudding cloth up with for cooking.

“These companies are innovators, at the forefront of minimising their carbon footprint, and using that as a marketing point of difference to a highly environmentally conscious customer,” Mr Harcourt claimed. “It’s a great thing to be able show people that they can have a relatively guilt free Christmas by doing something good for the environment when they make choices about what to put on the table.”

Mr Harcourt recently returned from Denmark’s Energy Camp where he joined the world’s foremost Environmental experts in discussing Australia’s environmental capability and contribution in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Climate change in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP15).

“Australia’s was the only foreign delegation invited to the Energy Camp in Denmark and it is clear that Australia’s voice will be important in Copenhagen next year,” he said.
“It is crucial to the climate change story that Australia’s environmental capability in renewable energy, green building, water management and low emissions production and technology get better known on the world stage.”

Australia recently committed to cutting greenhouse emissions by at least 5% (and up to 15%) on 2000 levels by 2020.