Forty different importers, wholesalers and retailers from seven key export markets within Asia and the Middle East joined a room of Australian producers last week, in a bid to strengthen business relationships with key trading partners.
At the one-day Taste Australia Fresh Produce Showcase event – held alongside the Hort Connections event in Brisbane – producers and international buyers were able to meet and forge new relationships as well as discover unique or new products.
One interesting item was the hybrid kale/Brussels sprout, called a kalette (pictured). Grower, Leigh Samwell, said the product was very versatile and could be steamed, roasted, eaten raw, or used in stir-fry style dishes. Samwell told Asiafruit that he was keen to make new contacts and ensure his supply is spread across a range of markets.
At the intimate event, each producer showcased their wares on a small promotional stand, while catering staff prepared food and beverages for attendees containing the displayed products.
Buyers represented markets in Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
The 40 buyers (35 of whom were first time visitors to Australia) spent the days prior touring some of Queensland’s leading fruit and vegetable growers.
“The Australian vegetable industry is currently in the middle of the biggest trade push in its history, so there has never been a more crucial time for international buyers to visit our shores,” said Ausveg National Manager – Export Development, Michael Coote.
The reverse trade mission was developed by Australian horticulture marketing body, Hort Innovation alongside Ausveg.