Instead of meeting up with potential trading partners in person, they are pitching their goods to importers and distributors in 12 major Asian cities, online.
While international border shutdowns may have stymied the big cross-border trade missions for many industries during and since the coronavirus pandemic, it seems the “go virtual” trend has become our new normal.
Taste of Queensland has embraced the change, with more than 60 Queensland companies taking part in the virtual trade fair event with exporters and importers, doing all their negotiations via online meetings.
Queensland Premier Minister for Trade Annastacia Palasczcuk said the virtual trade push reinforces that Queensland is open and keen for more business, especially with their key Asian markets, which is vital for the state’s economic recovery.
“This novel, month-long promotion has already generated very keen interest in our Asian markets, with so many potential buyers already signed up for online meetings,” she said.
“In the last two years, the Taste of Queensland events have chalked up more than $10 million in sales for Queensland exporters.”
The trade minister said one Queensland-based company, Nutrafruit, is a good example of an outstanding exporting success story. It expects a 300 per cent rise in export volumes this year alone for its antioxidant products made from the Queen Garnet plum.
“It’s exciting that more Queensland businesses — some like Nourishing Bites, who’ve never exported before — are getting their products in front of Asian buyers this year, too,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The proudly Indigenous-owned manufacturer of health treats, Townsville-based Nourishing Bites, is another local Queensland success story. It will also take part in the trade fair to showcase its product in Singapore, after two years of product development and market research.
The company’s owner, Shelley Grainger, said it’s an incredible opportunity for the business.
“We’ve spent the past two years refining our product range to suit overseas taste profiles, understanding the export landscape and deciding which markets we’re best to target,” she said.
“We’re so proud to showcase amazing Indigenous Australian agriculture and ingredients and very hopeful for our first-ever export deal.
“All the support, including even getting our products freighted to Singapore, has been just amazing — freight costs have gone up, so that practical support has been absolutely crucial.”
Nourishing Bites was established as a Townsville market stall in 2013 and now operates online, physical stores, a café and baking classes.