April 2018

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Singapore agreement for FNQ food exporters

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ's Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings' CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ’s Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 24 April in Singapore by IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow and Clinton Fang Yuen, founder of the FNQ Food Incubator and owner of Cairns-based Fang’s Chilli Sauce.

The signing took place at the Taste of Queensland booth at the Food and Hotel Asia trade show.

The FNQ Food Incubator is a collective of FNQ food and drink manufacturers, marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, dedicated to helping local food SMEs succeed at home and overseas.

The new agreement aims to provide these Cairns-based food businesses with easier access into ASEAN countries using IM Holdings’ logistics and distribution networks.

Mr Siow said the agreement was part of the company’s ongoing strategy to facilitate SME food and agribusiness exports from Australia, with support from Enterprise Singapore.

‘This is part of our ongoing strategy to support the efforts of Australia’s food and agribusiness SMEs seeking to venture into the ASEAN export market, where the demand for fresh, high-quality products continues to demonstrate solid growth,’ he said.

‘The partnership is yet another step in our overall vision to establish an export-oriented platform for Australia’s SMEs, including those from Cairns, which enjoys close geographical proximity to Asia, with efficient access into one of the world’s fastest growing regions.’

Mr Fang Yuen said that the agreement was the latest initiative from the FNQ Food Incubator, which also gives local SMEs access to the cutting-edge processing and bottling plant used to manufacture his company’s chilli sauce.

‘The aim of establishing the FNQ Incubator was to focus on helping early-stage food processors commercialise and scale the development of their food products,’ he said.

‘As well as access to the manufacturing facility, the FNQ Incubator proposes to offer a range of structured training programs designed to help entrepreneurs develop a full range of business skills to optimise their products and business practices.’

Mr Siow said that IM Holdings and Enterprise Singapore could connect FNQ food manufacturers with growing Asian markets.

‘There is a huge potential for companies in Cairns looking to export their products into the South East Asia region and beyond,’ he said.

‘However, these companies often lack the necessary capabilities and networks to do so.

‘IM Holdings strives to offer a total solution to enable such businesses and their products to gain market access in the most cost-effective and efficient way.

‘Enterprise Singapore’s extensive network and overseas market expertise has greatly expanded our reach and allowed us to forge deeper partnerships with like-minded business owners.’

TIQ helped to organise a recent visit to Cairns by IM Holdings to meet with members of the FNQ Food Incubator and begin discussions around a distribution deal.

Fang’s is one of 23 Queensland businesses currently participating in TIQ’s Food and Hotel Asia mission.

Food and Hotel Asia is the latest international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read more about the Fang’s Chilli Sauce story in this entertaining interview with Clinton Fang Yuen.

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Food and Hotel Asia gets Taste of Queensland

More than 20 Queensland food and beverage companies are in Singapore this week for Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade fair, showcasing their wares and meeting with potential buyers from across the region.

FHA 2018 in SingaporeMore than 20 Queensland food and beverage companies are in Singapore this week for Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade fair, showcasing their wares and meeting with potential buyers from across the region.

Forty delegates representing twenty-three Queensland organisations have joined TIQ’s trade mission to Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore.

Fifteen of those businesses are putting their products on show at TIQ’s Taste of Queensland booth, with most exhibitors hailing from regional Queensland.

Products on show range from coconut yoghurt and vege chips to more traditional produce such as seafood, game birds and smallgoods.

As well as showcasing Queensland’s best produce, companies attending will participate in more than 55 business-matching meetings with potential buyers from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong.

They will also receive market briefings and have the opportunity to visit high-end retail outlets and logistic centres to help forge new deals and opportunities.

Previous similar missions have delivered multiple export deals for Queensland businesses.

For example, of the 22 Queensland food and beverage companies that joined the HOFEX food show mission to Hong Kong in 2017, 14 companies have already received export orders.

Food and Hotel Asia will run over four days from 24 to 27 April, with TIQ staff from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, India, and Queensland supporting delegates throughout.

Food and Hotel Asia is the third international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Delegates participating are:

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Google Ventures founder joins Myriad Air

The founder and first CEO of Google Ventures will fly into Brisbane next month for the Myriad tech festival, joining a host of other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors on board the festival’s own Myriad Air flight.

The founder and first CEO of Google Ventures will fly into Brisbane next month for the Myriad tech festival, joining a host of other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors on board the festival’s own Myriad Air flight.

High-profile venture capitalist Bill Maris founded Google Venture in 2009, managing a $2.5 billion fund that invested in more than 400 companies.

Maris now heads Section 32, a Californian start-up that funds technology, biotechnology, health care, and life sciences start-ups.

He will head to Brisbane on board Myriad Air, an initiative from Qantas and the Queensland Government to bring more than 360 of tech’s brightest minds direct from Silicon Valley to Fortitude Valley where the festival will take place.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said that Myriad’s networking and discussions would begin well before the plane touched down.

‘Myriad Air promises to be one of the biggest mid-air networking events ever staged, with an exciting in-flight program of cutting edge conversation, pitching and collaboration,’ she said.

‘Having someone of Bill Maris’s calibre on board Myriad Air will inspire some of our greatest thinkers to continue to move forward in the health sector.’

Ms Jones said Mr Maris would headline the Myriad Festival’s discussions about the future of health.

Myriad CEO Martin Talvari said securing Mr Maris was a major coup for the festival, and the connections forged on Myriad Air would flow through to the festival itself.

‘Myriad’s measurement for success is all about the genuine connections that are made,’ he said.

‘These connections will begin on board Myriad Air … and continue through to the main event here in Brisbane.’

Mr Talvari said it was also possible to purchase tickets to travel on Myriad Air, and urged interested US start-ups and entrepreneurs to secure a ticket before they sell out.

Myriad is Australia’s leading tech innovation festival, bringing together start-ups, investors, tech-lovers and innovators from around Australia and the world.

Last year’s event attracted more than 3,000 visitors and 164 exhibitors.

Myriad Air will depart San Francisco International Airport on 12 May and arrive in Brisbane on 14 May.

Supporting Queensland start-ups is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Go global with Ignite Ideas

Queensland startups and small businesses can apply for up to $250,000 funding to advance their innovative products and services under Round 4 of the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas fund which has opened for applications.

Queensland start-ups and small businesses have until 9 May to apply for up to $250,000 funding to advance their innovative products and services under Round 4 of the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas fund.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the Ignite Ideas fund had supported more than 200 Queensland businesses to date, through $26.5 million (three rounds) of Ignite Ideas funding, creating more than 1000 new jobs.

‘Through three rounds of funding the Ignite Ideas program has supported hundreds of Queensland companies,’ Ms Jones said.

‘Ignite Ideas funding has supported applicants from a diverse range of sectors, including tourism, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, engineering, renewable energy, information technology, virtual reality, safety and construction.’

Airway Medical Innovations Director Dr Julio Alonso, a Brisbane doctor turned start-up entrepreneur and innovator, received $250,000 through Round 3 of the Ignite Ideas fund to help him commercialise and globalise an invention that will make it safer, easier and faster for doctors to perform endotracheal intubation.

‘The funding has been a tremendous boost and has allowed me to continue towards the commercialisation of the device,’ Dr Alonso said.

‘The Ignite Ideas funding has helped with the costs of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for the technology and with my first clinical user program.’

North Burnett-based Eidsvold Siltstone received more than $55,000 from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund to explore reuse options for the fine talc-like powder produced from sawing sandstone into blocks.

Eidsvold Siltstone Managing Director Michael Whitty said the Ignite Ideas funding had helped him significantly progress his project.

‘We were very grateful to receive the grant, which funded further research in conjunction with QUT, and also a trip to the USA in January to consult with research laboratories and industry leaders there.

‘Our discussions and testing in America suggested that the greatest potential lies in using the dust to support the remediation of mine sites contaminated by radio-active and other heavy metals.’

Ignite Ideas targets businesses with fewer than 200 staff that have a suitable working prototype that is ready to be turned into commercial reality.

For more details about Ignite Ideas, see the Advance Queensland website.

Encouraging innovation is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Time to fill in International Business Survey 2018

Queensland exporters are being urged to complete this year’s Australia’s International Business Survey and add Queensland voices to this important national research.

Queensland exporters are being urged to complete this year’s Australia’s International Business Survey and add Queensland voices to this important national research.

The annual survey collects data on the international activities of Australian companies, which is then used by a range of government authorities in making funding and policy decisions.

More Queensland data in the survey enables decision-makers to form a more accurate picture of the state’s export performance, and make the best decisions on how to support local exporters.

Now in its fifth year, the survey is an initiative of Austrade, the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC).

It should only take around 20 minutes to complete, with survey participants eligible for a range of incentives.

The first 500 respondents will be eligible to receive a 30% discount on ECA membership, with the next 500 eligible to receive a 15% discount.

Existing ECA members who complete the survey will be eligible to receive a 30% discount on the latest edition of the Australian Export Handbook.

All successful survey respondents will receive exclusive access to a webinar on the survey results, where experts from Austrade, ECA and EFIC will discuss the survey results and what they mean for Australia’s international business.

Businesses have until Monday 7 May to complete the survey.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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China explores NQ investment potential

Chinese business representatives were in North Queensland last week exploring business and investment opportunities in Townsville and surrounding areas.

TIQ and university staff join the China delegation at JCU's Science Place.

TIQ and university staff join the China delegation at JCU’s Science Place.

Chinese business representatives were in North Queensland last week exploring business and investment opportunities in Townsville and surrounding areas.

TIQ’s North Queensland office hosted the visit from representatives of the China Consulate-General (Brisbane), the China Chamber of Commerce (Brisbane) and the Bank of China (Brisbane).

The visit was an opportunity for the delegation to meet with local community and industry leaders and discuss trade and investment projects in North Queensland.

TIQ advisor Roger Kaus said that the delegation had been able to visit a number of high-profile facilities in the region.

‘The trip included site visits to the Port of Townsville, the Burdekin Irrigation Area and James Cook University’s Science Place,’ he said.

‘At the university, the delegation discussed current research programs, as well the university’s curriculum.

‘We also explored future expansion of JCU within their Discovery Rise sustainable community project.’

Mr Kaus said the Chinese delegation was keen to hear about North Queensland’s longer-term infrastructure requirements.

‘Briefings were held with regional mayors and economic development agencies,’ he said.

‘The delegation was particularly interested in infrastructure projects and future development planned for the region.’

The delegation also promoted the first China International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November this year.

Attracting smart foreign direct investment is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Acciona signs agreement for Aldoga solar

Global energy giant Acciona Energy has signed a lease agreement to begin the process of transforming 1,250ha of state-owned land near Gladstone into a $500 million solar energy farm.

Global energy giant Acciona Energy has signed a lease agreement to begin the process of transforming 1,250ha of state-owned land near Gladstone into a $500 million solar energy farm.

Acciona has signed a 30-year lease with the Queensland Government to develop, finance, construct and operate the facility at Aldoga, north-west of Gladstone.

The first tasks for the company will be to undertake a detailed feasibility study for the project and obtain all necessary approvals.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the signing of the Agreement for Lease signalled the start of a project that would make a major contribution to the local economy and regional power grid.

‘This invaluable project will support up to 240 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs,’ he said.

‘At maximum capacity, up to 265 megawatts (AC), will deliver the equivalent amount of energy needed to supply up to 122,000 households, which is around five times the number of households in Gladstone.’

The Aldoga solar plant will connect to the energy grid via Powerlink’s Larcom Creek substation.

Acciona Energy Australia Managing Director Brett Wickham said the company was eager to commence work.

‘We are grateful to the Queensland Government for the opportunity to develop Aldoga,’ he said.

‘The local community will play an important role in this project, with job opportunities, construction work and long-term prospects for suppliers.’

Mr Dick said there was substantial national and international interest in the project, with 16 companies submitting an expression of interest to transform the land at Aldoga into a renewable energy facility.

‘An extremely competitive shortlist of 5 major renewable energy companies saw Acciona Energy selected to now undertake a detailed feasibility study and to obtain development approvals,’ he said.

‘This could take around 12 months, meaning construction may begin in the second half of next year, and electricity generation in the second half of 2020.’

Aldoga is the latest in a series of major renewable energy projects for Queensland.

Over the past 18 months, 5 large-scale solar projects have commenced operations, with another 23 large-scale renewables projects financially committed or under construction.

These include three solar projects by Esco Pacific in Wide Bay, Central Queensland and North Queensland, two Edify Energy solar projects in the Bowen Basin, and a number of Windlab projects, including Australia’s largest wind farm at Coopers Gap on the Darling Downs.

Renewable energy is one of the emerging local industries identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Singapore distributor checks out FNQ foods

Increased flights to Asia are opening up more opportunities for FNQ exports, with a major Singapore logistics company heading to Cairns recently to meet with local food manufacturers.

Little Tuna of Cairns on displayIncreased flights to Asia are opening up more opportunities for FNQ exports, with a major Singapore logistics company heading to Cairns recently to meet with local food manufacturers.

A dozen Cairns companies displayed their wares to Singapore’s IM Holdings at the Far North Queensland Food Incubator in March.

IM Holdings provides delivery, warehousing, inventory management and other logistics services, including helping companies deliver products directly to South East Asian markets.

Representatives from the Singapore company were in Cairns to learn more about niche, high-value processed foods available for export.

Products on display included high-quality tuna steak from Little Tuna; milk, yoghurt and cheese from Mungalli Creek Dairy; black and white chia seed from Australian Superfoods; kombucha drinks from the Fermented Kitchen; and sauces from Fang’s Chilli Sauce. The event was held at Fang’s premises.

Cairns is well-placed to expand airfreight services to Asian markets, with the recent addition of three China Southern flights a week direct from Guangzhou and twice-weekly Hainan Airlines flights between Shenzhen and Cairns.

The food incubator event was organised by members of the Cairns Airfreight Group, which includes the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning; the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; TIQ; Cairns Airport; Advance Cairns; and Cairns Regional Council.

As a result of the event, Cairns representatives have now been invited to visit IM Holdings in Singapore during TIQ’s trade mission to Food and Hotel Asia later this month.

Other food companies attending the event were Mt Uncle Distillery, Natural Evolution Foods, Rainforest Heart bush foods, Cairns Natural Spring Water, Madella Coffee, Life Grip supplements, and Australian Superfoods bush foods.

Environmental Air Solutions also showcased their natural air-purifier products.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Bundy distiller wins national gin award

Bundaberg’s Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company has won gold for its Premium London Dry Gin at this year’s Australian Distilled Spirits Competition in Melbourne.

Bundaberg’s Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company has won gold for its Premium London Dry Gin at this year’s Australian Distilled Spirits Competition in Melbourne.

The Melbourne competition, which recognises excellence in Australian distillation and spirits-making, attracted around 80 entries from across Australia.

Speaking to the Bundaberg News Mail, Kalki Moon’s Master Distiller Rick Prosser said the distillery was especially proud to win the gold for its London Gin.

‘It’s fantastic,’ he said.

‘London Dry is the most traditional way of making gin, so it’s nice to know we are doing the right thing and producing a quality product.’

Mr Prosser said Kalki Moon had also brought home a swag of other awards.

‘We entered … six products and got six awards,’ he said.

In addition to the gold, Kalki Moon won silver for its Solstice barrel-aged gin, and bronze for its Classic Gin, Classic Vodka, Choc/Hazelnut Liqueur and Choc/Mint Liqueur.

Mr Prosser said the one-year-old distillery would soon add to its range with a new gin liqueur.

‘This will complete the trio of liqueurs we have,’ he said.

‘It will be the first gin-based one we have, the previous two have been vodka.

‘It will be a pink gin liqueur.’

This is not the first time a Queensland producer has triumphed at the Australian Distilled Spirits Competition, with Mt Uncle distillery at Walkamin in Far North Queensland winning six prizes at last year’s awards.

Kalki Moon has been working with TIQ’s Wide Bay Burnett office on plans to export its gins and other products to overseas markets.

The company will join TIQ and more than 20 other Queensland companies for this year’s Food and Hotel Asia mission to Singapore later this month.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland products on show for Comm Games

Premium foods and beverages from Queensland producers were on display to international food buyers at a recent showcase held in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Premium foods and beverages from Queensland producers were on display to international food buyers at a recent showcase held in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Nineteen Queensland firms marketed their products to buyers from the Middle East, South East Asia, China and Korea at the Food Buyer’s Showcase at Brookwater Golf Course near Ipswich on 5 April.

The showcase was part of the Trade 2018 program being run for international businesspeople visiting the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games.

Queensland products on show ranged from luxury chocolate brownies to weight-loss products, and from indigenous bush foods to bakery products, healthy snacks and dairy-free cheese.

Overseas buyers attending were sourcing products for supermarkets, food-service supply to cafes and restaurants, and gift-giving seasons.

The event was the latest in a series of annual food showcases coordinated by TIQ’s Food and Agribusiness team, designed to bring Queensland suppliers together with international buyers.

Last year’s showcase resulted in a series of deals for Queensland companies, including orders from a Hong Kong health food chain for honey from Bush Honey Australia and natural skincare products from Summer Land Camel Farm.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Queensland companies participating in the 2018 Brookwater showcase were:

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