Central Queensland exporters ready to broaden their horizons
BELINDA Coetzee, who studied and worked in South Africa's export field before moving to Emerald, was one of many who appreciated the opportunity to learn about Australia's export environment.
The Export Ready: 2019 International Trade Program was recently completed in the Central Highlands and gave seven Central Queensland agricultural businesses the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop and expand their trade overseas.
Undertaken over five months, the initiative was delivered by the Central Highlands Development Corporation and the Export Council of Australia with funding from the Australian Government Regional Jobs and Investment Package.
"I have been out of exporting for 10 years and this was an eye opener for me,” Ms Coetzee said.
"Not only did this workshop series update me on the latest procedures in export marketing and documentation, it has shown me how much technology in the field has advanced over the years.”
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from participants, who included producers and supply chain members.
Most of them have a clear focus and interest in containerised grains exports, developing skills and knowledge to disrupt current supply chain logistics, and examining opportunities to better utilise Queensland's ports of Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville.
"We were very lucky to have had two experienced exporters come to the Central Highlands to teach us the ins and outs of how export works,” Goldstar Commodities' Jean Cottam said.
"They took us through a practical, step-by-step process, highlighting issues that may arise, through sharing their experiences from exporting to various countries.”
The training was delivered by leading international trade specialists including Diane Tipping, ECA chair and Paul Cooper, chair of the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre.
"Both presenters did an excellent job of communicating the importance of the various stages involved in exporting and guiding us to become the next Central Highlands exporters,” Ms Coetzee said.
CHDC agribusiness development coordinator Liz Alexander was pleased CHDC had taken the lead to proactively help businesses navigate the complexities and opportunities of global business.
"Exporting can be complex and involves risk, however producers are becoming increasingly confident in their ability to secure better premiums by having greater involvement in the export process,” she said.