March 2020

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Women in trade: Dr Nicola Angel, Microba

Microba gives consumers access to cutting-edge technology to analyse their individual gut microbiome. The company has worked extensively with TIQ to expand its export markets, and recently participated in TIQ’s US-based FAST accelerator program.

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, TIQ celebrates women succeeding in Queensland trade.

Dr Nicola Angel, Head of Lab Operations, Microba
Microba gives consumers access to cutting-edge technology to analyse their individual gut microbiome. The company has worked extensively with TIQ to expand its export markets, and recently participated in TIQ’s US-based California Life Sciences Institute FAST accelerator program.

What does your job involve day to day?
My job at Microba is incredibly varied and covers all areas of laboratory operations. This means that no 2 days are identical and any single day can involve working on scientific or administrative tasks. There is a large component of staff management, asset management, quality management and scheduling to maintain a working laboratory, in addition to reading and responding to regulatory requirements, workplace safety requirements, Australian standards and government guidelines. As exciting as all those tasks sound, luckily there is also the opportunity to get involved in product innovation and improvement, and with research projects that come through the laboratory.

What is your biggest success in your working life?
There isn’t a single event that comes to mind but I have been part of some amazing projects that have led to meaningful improvements in the health sector. For me, my biggest success is to have developed an outlook where I see challenges in my working life not as being limiting but as opportunities for growth and innovation. This has enabled me to have a sustained, enjoyable and rewarding work life.

What’s something you know now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
I would tell myself that most of the time the people you are worried will criticise you are too busy worrying about what others think of them to even notice what you are doing. Be brave and take chances, it will pay off. Also, look after your health better – you need to develop good habits, like checking your gut health, because your current lifestyle will catch up with you in the future!

Your top 3 tips for succeeding in the workplace?

  • Leave your ego at home – It’s an old saying, but a champion team will outperform a team of champions any day of the week. Look for opportunities to work cooperatively – you will achieve more together than trying to cover everything alone.
  • Be open to new ideas – Today’s workplaces evolve at a rapid pace and the days when you could build a career on performing the same widget check on a manufacturing line for 30 years are long gone. The most successful employees are often not the most educated or experienced, but they are the most adaptable.
  • Drink coffee (or tea, chai or sparkling water if you must!) – Apart from the boost in productivity, it’s important to balance out your working day with some downtime and a break away from the computer or lab bench. Having a regularly scheduled relaxed catch-ups with other members of your organisation during breaks establishes great relationships and surprisingly this is often where novel ideas and approaches are generated spontaneously.

February 2020

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Ipswich SMEs urged to make Export Connections

Export Connections workshops include real-life case studies as well as short, sharp brainstorming sessions where participants share their business challenges and get advice from their peers.

Business owners from the Ipswich region can find real-world solutions to their export challenges at TIQ’s Export Connections workshop on 16 March.

The free workshop will include a brainstorming session where every participant will have the chance to explain a current challenge and receive advice from their exporting peers.

The workshop will also feature a presentation from Summer Land Camels CEO Jeff Flood, whose Scenic Rim business is successfully marketing camel-milk products to consumers in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Export Connections workshops have been running around Queensland since October 2019, and previous participants say they have been remarkably helpful.

Owner of functional foods company Symply Too Good To Be True Annette Sym said the Sunshine Coast workshop in December was a perfect opportunity for her to hear current information about exporting.

‘Workshops like this are a good first step where you get to meet other businesses as well as people from TIQ, who are always ready to help,’ she said.

‘When thinking about exporting, you really need to get organisations like TIQ involved to make sure you are dealing with the right contacts internationally.

‘It’s easy to attend these workshops – all it costs is your time.’

TIQ has previously helped Symply Too Good To Be True secure grant funding and attend a food and hospitality tradeshow in Hong Kong.

Annette is just one of many participants who have received practical advice from an Export Connections workshop.

PS2 (Problem Shared Problem Solved) founder Dr Danielle Lester, who attended a Brisbane workshop in November, said even young companies just beginning to think about exporting could benefit from attending.

Her virtual reality collaboration agency was still in the conceptual stage when she attended the workshop but she still found it very useful.

‘You’re in a space where everybody understands what it’s like to be in that position of just starting out,’ she said.

‘So they’re able to offer the specific level of support you need, no matter where you are in the process of developing your business.’

Dr Lester said sharing business challenges in the brainstorming sessions was particularly rewarding.

‘I’m a global person so I was able to provide plenty of global contacts for other attendees,’ she said.

‘Being able to provide that useful information, while getting such valuable feedback from other small businesses and start-ups was just fantastic.

‘I left the place absolutely buzzing by the end of it.’

The Export Connections workshops are an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Export award winner creates Australia’s largest feedlot

Premier of Queensland Export Awards category winner Mort & Co has completed a major expansion of its Darling Downs feedlot.

Premier of Queensland Export Awards winner Mort & Co has completed a major expansion of its Darling Downs feedlot.

Mort & Co’s operation at Grassdale, west of Toowoomba, is now Australia’s largest operational feedlot, with capability to turnoff upwards of 200,000 cattle per annum.

The expansion was supported by funding under the Queensland Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said beef processing was one of Queensland’s largest manufacturing industries and the government was committed to its continued success.

‘We launched our Queensland Beef Processing Strategy 2019–2022 at the Ekka last year, and guided by that framework and investment initiatives like our Jobs and Regional Growth Fund we will keep working to support our beef industry,’ Mr Dick said.

In line with the Grassdale expansion, Mort & Co has brought online their own gas-fired power plant, a move that will allow them to meet their individual power requirements and become a net exporter back into the grid.

Mort & Co are also constructing a new fertiliser pellet manufacturing facility, set to be delivered in the first half of this year.

In a first for the Australian beef industry, the company will use innovative technologies to convert 60,000 tonnes of manure into high-value granulated fertiliser pellets.

The process will provide the feedlot with an environmental solution to waste issues and generate a new form of revenue for the company.

Mort & Co Executive Chairman Charlie Mort said the company had a longstanding track record of delivering best practice across all aspects of its business.

‘The prolonged drought that’s impacting cattle supply across Queensland and New South Wales makes it even more imperative that the feedlot industry continues to grow,’ Mr Mort said.

‘This will ensure a consistent supply of quality products for beef markets, both export and domestic.’

Mort & Co won the Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019.

TIQ has provided advice to the company on a number of export markets.

Agricultural products like beef are identified as one of Queensland’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Qantas commences new Brisbane – San Fran flights

Passengers on the first direct Qantas flight from Brisbane to San Francisco enjoyed Bundaberg Ginger Beer and Dello Mano brownies when they touched down in the USA earlier this month.

Queensland’s Bundaberg Ginger Beer and Dello Mano brownies were on the menu when the first direct Qantas flight from San Francisco to Brisbane left the USA earlier this month.

Staff from TIQ North America joined the uniquely Queensland send-off, organised by Tourism and Events Queensland, to celebrate the inaugural direct flight between the cities.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America Viki Forrest said direct flights were vital to growing Queensland’s tourism industry and consolidating business relationships.

‘The new route sends a great message that Queensland is open for business and it’s now just a single flight away from San Francisco,’ Ms Forrest said.

‘This closer connection will no doubt strengthen tourism and business ties between these two vibrant cities and their states.

‘It means representatives of North American companies looking to invest in Queensland can now spend less time in the air and more time on the ground doing business and establishing themselves in the Sunshine State.’

Ms Forrest said Bundaberg Ginger Beer and Dello Mano brownies were the perfect choice for the welcome event.

‘Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Brisbane-based Dello Mano are two iconic Queensland companies enjoying great success in North America,’ she said.

‘After several years in the market, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is now one of the highest selling ginger beers in California.

‘Dello Mano began exporting its signature chocolate brownies to the USA through an Aussie-owned café in Brooklyn, New York, and they haven’t looked back.’

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the new route would help attract more visitors from America and further boost one of Queensland’s largest international tourism markets.

The route is expected to provide an extra 73,632 inbound seats per annum and $67.1 million for the Queensland economy over the next three years.

Qantas’s partner American Airlines will cross-promote the route in a bid to increase visitor numbers in the wake of the heavily reported Australian bushfires.

The 11,367km flight takes 12 hours and 40 minutes, and will operate 3 days a week. The first flight left San Francisco on 9 February.

TIQ has worked with both Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Dello Mano to support their expansion into overseas markets.

If you’re interested in exporting your Queensland product, or investing in a world-class Queensland project, connect with TIQ today.

Tourism is identified as one of Queensland’s major services exports in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland’s Sorterra looks to opportunities in India

Queensland mining-equipment company Sorterra is looking to take its revolutionary water-saving technology to new users in the Indian market.

Queensland mining-equipment company Sorterra is looking to take its revolutionary water-saving technology to new users in the Indian market.

Brisbane-based Sorterra has developed new ‘dry sorting’ technology that is transforming the traditionally water-hungry process of separating contaminants from ore during mineral processing.

As well as improving the environmental performance of mines by slashing water use, the patented DryScan technology reduces processing costs and waste volumes.

DryScan combines an optical scanner based on laser technology with processing algorithms to classify all particles as either ore or waste, and then separates the two using pneumatic guns.

Visiting the Sorterra pilot plant at Burpengary East recently, TIQ CEO Paul Martyn said TIQ was helping Sorterra build business relationships in India to further its export ambitions.

‘Mineral processing normally involves extensive use of water, which poses challenges for remote mining sites and requires tailings dams,’ Mr Martyn said.

‘Sorterra’s dry technology has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental performance of mines around the world.

‘Sorterra executives recently joined us on a TIQ mission to India for Queensland mining equipment, technology and services companies, where there was a lot of interest in their product.

‘Sorterra is also participating in a TIQ mentoring program, where an expert from India’s minerals sector is guiding them to develop a market entry strategy.’

Mr Martyn said Sorterra had already trialled a full scale 200 tonne per hour pilot processing plant at an Australian mine site, and completed implementation of the technology into containerised modules that would allow rapid deployment of DryScan at a low capital cost.

The mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector is identified as an emerging export strength for Queensland in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re a Queensland METS company interested in exporting your product, connect with TIQ today.

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Brexit update: opportunities await Queenslanders

The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) this month has presented Queensland with a unique opportunity to redefine its trade relationship with the UK.

The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) this month has presented Queensland with a unique opportunity to redefine its trade relationship with the UK.

The UK exited the EU on 1 February and the transition period is due to last until 31 December 2020.

Until then, the UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market.

Agent-General and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt said nothing will change for Australians living, working and or doing business with the UK and the EU before 31 December.

‘Brexit is likely to present an opportunity to strengthen business relations between the UK and Queensland as well as the EU, as both the UK and EU look for new trading partners outside of each other,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘It is timely that the Global CEO Scale-Up program, organised by QUT, Creative Enterprise Australia and TIQ, started here in the UK in the first week post-Brexit.

‘TIQ Europe is optimistic about being able to increase the export of Queensland specialty food and agriculture products into both the UK and EU markets in the future.’

Queensland and the UK have a significant trade and investment relationship.

In 2019, the UK was Queensland’s sixteenth-largest goods trading partner and the state’s fourth-largest source of tourists, providing 216,000 visitors to Queensland in the year ending September 2019.

TIQ Principal Analyst Simon Fischer said Brexit was unlikely to have long-term economic impacts on direct trade with the UK, though there may be short-term issues as agreements are negotiated.

‘The UK Government’s vision of a “Global Britain” campaign includes looking to old friends for trade and investment,’ Mr Fischer said.

‘An Australian free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK is a high priority and negotiations with the UK are underway.

‘A comprehensive Australia-UK FTA would ensure our trade and investment relationship reaches its full potential by removing barriers to trade, expanding services linkages and investment ties, and modernising the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment.

Mr Fischer warned that exporters should also be aware of Brexit’s impacts on the British economy.

‘The success of the UK’s trade negotiations may influence the price of the pound, affecting the British demand for imports,’ he said.

‘However, some sectors such as financial and insurance services and agriculture may see an improvement in their ability to export to the UK under new trade rules.’

If you would like advice on exporting to the UK, connect with TIQ today.

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Korean students K-Move to Queensland institutions

TIQ’s Study Queensland team met with representatives from Korea’s Keimyung College University (KMCU) last month to discuss potential educational opportunities for Korean students ahead of 20 KMCU students commencing a new 4-week study program.

TIQ’s Study Queensland team met with representatives from Korea’s Keimyung College University (KMCU) last month to discuss potential educational opportunities for Korean students ahead of 20 KMCU students commencing a new 4-week study program.

The program at James Cook University Brisbane is part of the Korea Ministry of Education’s Innovation Support Initiative.

It is the result of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) JCUB and Sarina Russo Institute recently signed with KMCU.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said Queensland’s long-term relationship with KMCU continues to flourish.

‘KMCU has been developing deep relationships with Queensland educational institutions since 2009 and their 2 latest MOUs are testament to KMCU’s continued commitment to Queensland,’ she said.

‘Study Queensland looks forward to welcoming more Korean students to study in Queensland at a wide variety of educational institutions.’

Ms Willoughby said KMCU President Seung-Ho Park was looking forward to sending students to Queensland through the Korean Government funded K-Move and other programs, including for Taekwondo-related activities.

‘KMCU sees great potential to combine study and work projects given the strong Queensland tourism industry and related job opportunities, as well as new flights from Korea to the Gold Coast,’ she said.

‘Mr Park was impressed with Brisbane as a destination for students and is very keen to create new opportunities to work with Study Queensland.’

As a top-tier college university in Korea, KMCU receives government grants to send students abroad.

Mr Park met with representatives from Sarina Russo Institute, JCUB, Southern Cross University, Central Queensland University and Le Cordon Bleu during a visit to Brisbane and the Gold Coast on 19–22 January.

The 20 KMCU students arrived to start their 4-week study block at JCUB on 20 January.

They will be studying intensive English language courses and undertaking internships in fields including hotel management, engineering and design during their time in Brisbane.

International education and training is identified as one of Queensland’s most important services exports under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2020.

Study Queensland offers a range of grants and other programs to support, develop and promote Queensland’s international education and training sector.

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Deals flow from Taste of Queensland showcase

Queensland food and beverage producers are starting to see deals flow from the Taste of Queensland Gourmet Experience held in October 2019, which brought 34 international buyers to South East Queensland.

Queensland food and beverage producers are starting to see deals flow from the Taste of Queensland Gourmet Experience held in October 2019, which brought 34 international buyers to South East Queensland.

Organised by TIQ, the Taste of Queensland event connected buyers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the USA with more than 50 Queensland suppliers through 2 showcases and regional visits to local firms.

Ten participating companies have already secured trial shipments with buyers they met through Taste of Queensland, while others are in discussions about future deals.

Central Queensland organic tea company Tielka is one company that has already seen results from participating in a Taste of Queensland showcase at Bokarina on the Sunshine Coast.

Based at Agnes Water, multi-award winning Tielka selects the finest organic teas direct from growers and then blends and packages small batches, ensuring optimal freshness.

The family-owned company will now be sharing their quality product with overseas tea-lovers after making their first-ever export sale to a Singaporean buyer they met through Taste of Queensland.

Tielka co-founder and Managing Director Rebecca Domorev said Taste of Queensland was the export stepping stone the company was looking for.

‘TIQ has assisted us by offering us the chance to showcase at the buyers’ event and ensuring a suitable buyer was part of the group to see our products,’ she said.

‘Thank you for this fantastic opportunity!’

TIQ Food and Agribusiness Director Glen Nunn said Taste of Queensland had enabled companies like Tielka to take the first important steps in building long-term export relationships.

‘Many of the international buyers who visited us had never been to Queensland before,’ he said.

‘They liked what they saw and now they’re testing the waters in their home markets by ordering trial shipments and seeing how they go with local consumers.

‘It’s establishing a good foundation for future orders, and it’s what TIQ is all about – connecting Queensland businesses to global opportunities.’

The Taste of Queensland Gourmet Experience ran from 23 to 25 October and was the largest inbound food and beverage mission ever delivered by TIQ.

Fostering export growth is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re a Queensland food and beverage producer interested in exporting, connect with TIQ today.

View the photo gallery from the Taste of Queensland Gourmet Experience.

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Export Connections: learn from Cairns’ best business brains

Far North Queensland businesses will have a unique chance to learn the secrets of export success from their peers at TIQ’s Export Connections workshop in Cairns later this month.

Far North Queensland businesses will have a unique chance to learn the secrets of export success from their peers at TIQ’s Export Connections workshop in Cairns later this month.

The free workshop will include a presentation from local business Natural Evolution, winner of the 2019 Queensland Emerging Exporters Award, as well as brainstorming sessions where participants share their business challenges and get advice from fellow exporters.

Export Connections workshops have been running around Queensland since last October, and previous participants say they have been remarkably helpful.

Owner of functional foods company Symply Too Good To Be True Annette Sym said the Sunshine Coast workshop in December provided the perfect chance to hear current information about exporting.

‘Workshops like this are a good first step where you get to meet other businesses as well as people from TIQ, who are always ready to help,’ she said.

‘When thinking about exporting, you really need to get organisations like TIQ involved to make sure you are dealing with the right contacts internationally.

‘It’s easy to attend these workshops – all it costs is your time.’

TIQ has previously helped Symply Too Good To Be True secure grant funding and attend a food and hospitality tradeshow in Hong Kong.

Annette is not the only participant who found the workshop useful.

PS2 (Problem Shared Problem Solved) founder Dr Danielle Lester, who also attended the Brisbane workshop in November, said even young companies just beginning to think about exporting could benefit from attending.

Her virtual reality collaboration agency was still in the conceptual stage when she attended the workshop but she still found it very useful.

‘You’re in a space where everybody understands what it’s like to be in that position of just starting out,’ she said.

‘So they’re able to offer the specific level of support you need, no matter where you are in the process of developing your business.’

Dr Lester said sharing business challenges in the brainstorming sessions was particularly rewarding.

‘I’m a global person so I was able to provide plenty of global contacts for other attendees,’ she said.

‘Being able to provide that useful information, while getting such valuable feedback from other small businesses and start-ups was just fantastic.

‘I left the place absolutely buzzing by the end of it.’

The Export Connections workshops are an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next free Export Connections workshop will be held in Cairns on 27 February. Keynote speaker will be Krista Watkins, Managing Director of Natural Evolution, an Atherton Tableland business that is enjoying extraordinary success with superfoods based on banana flour. The workshop, including brainstorming sessions, will be facilitated by Brian Ruddle from Impact Innovation.

For more information contact Sharyn Byrnes at sharyn.byrnes@tiq.qld.gov.au.

The Export Connection workshops are delivered by specialist innovation and technology commercialisation consultancy Impact Innovation which operates across the Asia Pacific region.

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Queensland brews and beef top Korean business awards

Queensland exporters took home 2 awards for excellence at the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham Korea) Business Awards 2020 held in Seoul recently.

Queensland exporters took home 2 awards for excellence at the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham Korea) Business Awards 2020 held in Seoul recently.

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks won the Business Growth Award and Lotte International Oceania won the Agriculture, Food and Beverage Award.

The AustCham Korea awards celebrate and recognise exceptional companies, organisations and individuals that have contributed to the expanding Australia-Korea business relationship.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea Daniel Kim said winning 2 categories was a great result for Queensland, and recognition of both companies’ success in the Korean market.

‘Bundaberg Brewed Drinks achieved significant growth in 2019, selling more than 3.5 million drinks in Korea, up 50% on the previous year,’ he said.

‘Their Pink Grapefruit variety has proven very popular since launching in 2018 and complemented the 2 initial flavours of ginger beer and lemon, lime and bitters very well.

‘Bundaberg Brewed Drinks’ incredible success here is a great example of how important it is to find the right local partner who can help build your brand in a competitive market like Korea.

‘This win should be an inspiration to other Queensland exporters who might be considering expanding their business to Korea.’

Mr Kim said TIQ was proud to have introduced Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to its local Korean partner and recently supported them with an introduction to a 5-star hotel that was looking to replace its standard soft drinks with a range of premium beverages.

Mr Kim said Lotte International’s win in the Agriculture, Food and Beverage category was important recognition for their contribution to advancing Queensland’s beef industry.

‘Over the last 5 years, Lotte International has been processing Queensland premium beef under their own “L’Grow” brand, which is sold through Lotte-affiliated hotels, department stores and supermarkets, as well as through other high-end channels in North East Asia,’ he said.

‘TIQ assisted Lotte International when they purchased the Sandalwood Feedlot near Dalby in Queensland in 2019, as part of the vertical integration of their beef supply chain.’

The Australia-Korea Business Awards ceremony was held on 31 January at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, South Korea.

Korea is identified as major export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

If you are interested in exporting to Korea, connect with TIQ today.