July 2018

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Demand grows for First Food Co’s bush tucker

Wattleseed damper, lemon-myrtle iced tea, and dukkah made from Australian native ingredients – all popular products on the menu of a Gold Coast bush-tucker business that is expanding into new premises as demand grows for its unique range.

Wattleseed damper, lemon-myrtle iced tea, and dukkah made from Australian native ingredients are all popular products on the menu of a Gold Coast bush-tucker business that is expanding into new premises as demand grows for its unique range.

First Food Co is a specialist bush-food catering, manufacturing and retail company, which recently moved into a new warehouse and is now in the process of securing a larger commercial kitchen in Arundel as the business continues to grow.

First Food Director Karen Perks said the business is also looking to take the leap into export markets.

‘We are a fast-growing Indigenous business,’ Ms Perks said.

‘After just 12 months of operation, we have outgrown our original premises.

‘At the moment we are focusing on increasing our supplies to local wholesalers, but we are also looking at export opportunities.’

Ms Perks said the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was a unique opportunity to showcase Indigenous foods to an international audience.

‘The business has come out of a very busy period during which we provided fresh, frozen and manufactured catering supplies to the athlete’s village and Commonwealth House during the Commonwealth Games.

‘We also did a lot of catering for Reconciliation Week and another big event we were involved in was catering for GOLDOC’s Seniors Games.’

First Foods also took part in TIQ’s Food Buyer’s showcase held as part of the Trade 2018 program for the Commonwealth Games.

The event saw Queensland food producers showcasing their products to international food buyers from the USA, Middle East, South Korea, China, and South East Asia, with a view to possible export opportunities.

The First Foods Co manufactures a large range of products inspired by bush foods, including rosella syrup, lemon myrtle and coconut salsa, and wild plum chutney, as well as a selection of jams, relishes, sauces and spice blends.

Showcasing Queensland products to international markets is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

June 2018

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Fresh CQ research into faster Asian exports

New research by CQUniversity is investigating whether changes to processing and supply-chain techniques could enable fresh Central Queensland produce to be transported to Asia without the need for preservatives, with no loss of quality.

New research by CQUniversity is investigating whether changes to processing and supply-chain techniques could enable fresh Central Queensland produce to be transported to Asia without the need for preservatives, with no loss of quality.

University researcher Dr Delwar Akbar is leading a team exploring whether high-pressure processing and supply-chain enhancements could see preservative-free produce reaching Asian consumers within 24 hours.

Dr Akbar said the two-and-a-half-year project would build on a previous CQUni study that had identified knowledge gaps in the processing, marketing and transport of exports.

‘We [Queensland producers] know what we are growing, but we also need to involve the other stages in the supply chain,’ he said.

The two-and-a-half-year research project has attracted a total of $676,000 in funding and in-kind support, with major funding coming from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said the project was one of a number designed to build better connections between Central Queensland producers and major export markets in Asia.

‘Council will focus on developing the international linkage between our region and China, which over the course of the next three years, will create a tangible platform for trade and investment,’ she said.

‘We will look at how we can increase our market access, develop supply-chain efficiencies and create the right environment that allows us to provide better access for local producers to export to Asia.’

Other project supporters and stakeholders include Growcom; the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning; the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Passionfruit Australia; and Tropical Pines Ltd.

The project will also communicate with TIQ, Austrade and relevant government departments in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Supporting innovation to futureproof traditional export industries is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Golden Bone shares business success behind bars

An Ipswich business exporting healthy pet treats is helping to upskill Queensland prisoners, with its products made by inmates at the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.

An Ipswich business exporting healthy pet treats is helping to upskill Queensland prisoners, with its products made by inmates at the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.

Golden Bone Bakery manufactures veterinarian-approved healthy dog treats that are free from preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, and added salt and sugar.

The business is part of the workRestart program, a social enterprise initiative where businesses set up part of their operations in prisons, providing employment opportunities for offenders.

Golden Bone owners Reiner Adolfsen and Katharina von Heusinger say the program has benefits both for them and the inmates involved.

‘Businesses like ours set up a part of our operation inside the prison and we provide jobs and training for offenders,’ Ms von Heusinger said.

‘The program aims to build prisoners’ skills and self-confidence, to improve their chances of obtaining stable post-release employment, and to reduce their risk of re-offending.

‘This is good for the prisoners and their communities, and also good for our reputation as a business.’

Golden Bone launched its pet treats in Singapore late last year, and has received a follow-up order from their Singapore stockist.

The company is now looking to export to Japan, Thailand, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Ms von Heusinger said TIQ had been a great help in securing their first export order to Singapore.

‘We are a member of the Entrepreneurs Hub Fire Station 101 in Ipswich, where we met our local TIQ Trade and Investment Officer, Julie Mark,’ Ms von Heusinger said.

‘As soon as we heard about the export opportunity to Singapore, we reached out to Julie for advice.

‘Julie and the TIQ team supported us from the beginning with their extensive knowledge and experience with export regulations and by connecting us with the right people.’

For more information on the workRestart initiative, visit the program website, or for support in your own export journey, connect with TIQ.

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

For the whole Golden Bone story, read our full interview with Katharina on TIQ’s Medium page.

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Kennedy’s mega wind blades reach Townsville

Massive 70-metre wind turbine blades have arrived at the Port of Townsville, signalling the next phase in one of Queensland’s most innovative renewables projects.

Turbine blades arrive at Port of TownsvilleMassive 70-metre wind turbine blades have arrived at the Port of Townsville, signalling the next phase in one of Queensland’s most innovative renewables projects.

The shipment of 36 blades and 3,500t of cargo from China will form part of the Kennedy Energy Park at Hughenden, which will be the world’s first hybrid large-scale power plant.

The $160 million energy park will combine twelve 200 metre-high wind turbines, 55,000 solar panels, and 4MW of lithium Ion Tesla battery storage.

The park is being developed by Canberra-based Windlab Limited with backing from Japan’s Eurus Energy.

Vestas Wind Systems will provide Kennedy’s wind turbines and control software, and will also deliver engineering, procurement and construction in conjunction with Quanta Solar.

Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand Peter Cowling said the arrival of the blades in Townsville was another milestone achieved in the innovative project, which will take a collaborative approach.

‘We are committed to working with our customers and partners to bring cutting-edge hybrid solutions to Australia and Queensland, and working with local communities to contribute to Australia’s renewable future,’ Mr Cowling said.

Announcing the arrival of the wind blades in Townsville, the project partners said that the energy park would power the equivalent of 30,000 homes, decrease 185,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, and create around 110 jobs during construction, including contracts with 18 local businesses.

Queensland currently has more than 20 large-scale renewables projects either financially committed or under construction, including Coopers Gap Wind Farm on the Darling Downs, which will be Australia’s largest wind farm.

A shipment of 57-metre wind blades was shipped through Cairns Port for the Mt Emerald Wind Farm late last year.

Windlab is also developing the Lakeland Wind Farm on Cape York.

Renewables are identified as one of Queensland’s emerging strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, and are increasingly attracting the involvement of overseas investors.

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Summer Land of camel milk and honey – plus vodka!

Set on the spacious plains of the Scenic Rim is Summer Land Camel Farm, home to more than 500 camels brought in from the wilds of Central Australia (where they are considered a national agricultural challenge).

The Land of Milk and Honey vodkaSet on the spacious plains of the Scenic Rim is Summer Land Camel Farm, home to more than 500 camels brought in from the wilds of Central Australia (where they are considered a national agricultural challenge).

Many of these camels are milked daily, with the results being turned into gelato, Persian feta, a skincare range – and, most recently, a very unusual vodka.

Summer Land Camel Farm CEO Jeff Flood said the company’s vodka is probably the only one of its kind in the world.

‘We were aware of the whey vodka and gins produced in the UK with cow’s milk whey, and in Tasmania using sheep’s milk whey, and wanted to try use the camel milk whey, which is a by-product of our cheese production line,’ he said.

‘We also have this fantastic honey we are producing from our own apiary and thought Summer Land is like the fabled land of milk and honey, so why not make a milk and honey vodka?’

Mr Flood said the honey is combined with camel milk whey and then fermented and triple distilled by nearby Flinders Peak Winery.

‘We worked with Flinders Peak Winery and Distillery to make our vodka because, being local, they were the only distillery in Australia that understood seasonal variance in raw ingredients and were innovative enough to craft artisanal quality vodka which showcases the beautiful variances of our Scenic Rim climate in the flavour of our vodka,’ he said.

‘It tastes smooth and sweet like a honey milkshake.

‘Each batch is unique because the honey and milk taste different each season, so we will be releasing each batch as a seasonal release.

‘Bottles will be numbered because they are limited releases.’

Summer Land’s first batch of vodka, which has been about 12 months in the making, will be officially launched this month at their Eat Local Week event.

The farm recently had its first export success after participating in a Queensland Fine Food Showcase at Ipswich last year organised by TIQ.

Summer Land’s unique products attracted the attention of Hong Kong buyers visiting the showcase, who purchased the business’s Persian feta and camel-milk skincare range.

The farm is hoping to continue to expand its exports, and is working closely with TIQ to identify new export markets.

Showcasing Queensland products to international markets is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you think you have a product that could succeed in an overseas market, connect with TIQ.

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Codelco visits Queensland to source new METS suppliers and services

Last week TIQ brought out a key buyer from Chile’s state-owned copper mining company to meet local mining, engineering technology and services (METS) companies with a view to sourcing their products and services for the business’s ambitious investment and expansion program.

Last week, TIQ brought out a key buyer from Chile’s state-owned copper mining company to meet local METS (mining, engineering technology and services) companies with a view to sourcing their products and services for the business’s ambitious investment and expansion program.

Director of International Procurement for Codelco, Fernando Marchant, said the business was in the process of rolling out a major investment program worth around US$20 billion between now and 2021.

Codelco is responsible for around a quarter of the world’s copper production with revenues of approximately US$11.5 billion in 2016.

The mining giant has identified seven technology challenges for the next decade:

  • remote control of operations through automation and big data
  • large open pit productivity
  • recovery of additional materials
  • chalcoprite leaching/in situ leaching
  • underground mining – development and caving at new depths
  • clean copper production
  • pre-emptive maintenance.

Codelco has 7 mines, including four smelters and refineries, and three new projects that have been approved including the transformation of the largest open pit copper mine into an underground operation by 2019.

CEO of TIQ Virginia Greville said Queensland’s METS companies have been working closely with Codelco for many years.

‘Since 2012, Codelco has utilised Queensland METS capabilities for maintenance repairs and operations analytics; ground stability monitoring systems; mill relining equipment and water treatment expertise,’ Ms Greville said.

‘TIQ hopes to grow Codelco’s use of Queensland METS for the mutual benefit of Chile and Queensland.’

Queensland METS companies employ around 19,500 people; generate $7 billion in revenue and value add $2.5 billion to the Queensland economy.

TIQ is the government’s global business agency which works to help Queensland exporters take their products and services to world markets and to promote Queensland as an ideal investment destination.

If you think you have a product that could succeed in an overseas market, connect with TIQ today.

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Project explores potential for Indigenous-branded beef

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

The new project – a collaboration between Central Queensland’s Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) – will examine the desirability, feasibility and commercial viability of Indigenous-branded beef products, and development of a supply-chain strategy for them.

The impetus for the project was an Indigenous-branded product concept called ‘BlackFella Beef – Murri Yuri’, developed by Growing Central Queensland and Wangan Jagalingou and Western Kangoulu Indigenous groups.

Western Kangoulu Director Jonathan Malone said the Blackfella Beef concept had huge potential for Indigenous communities.

‘Through this project, we aim to demonstrate a business model that could support sustainable Indigenous communities, employment, education and training outcomes,’ he said.

‘It also has the potential to enable future Indigenous opportunities in the red-meat sector and broader agricultural industries.’

USQ Professor Alice Woodhead said the University would collaborate closely with the Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group to work on economic modelling, product development and a supply-chain strategy.

‘USQ will work with the group to establish the economics of Indigenous herd quality and quantity, and the value proposition for Indigenous-branded beef products.

‘This will build capacity in Indigenous communities to manage additional beef enterprises and understand supply chain and market access.’

The project will be delivered through MLA’s Producer Innovation Fast Track program, which supports the development and adoption of innovations that can improve farm-gate returns and supply-chain performance.

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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Hort Connections showcases cool mangoes

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Hort Connections is one of Australia’s largest horticulture conferences, attracting around 3,000 buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and flower supply chain.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Queensland Government had been collaborating with industry on a project to reduce temperature variations in fruit exports to help them reach their destination markets in great shape.

‘Specialised monitoring equipment has tracked actual changes in temperature along the journey from here to Asia,’ Mr Furner said.

‘We have used that information to identify “hot spots” and make recommendations for how our iconic mangoes should be packed and transported to ensure they are in the best shape on arrival at their final destination.

‘By ensuring the fruit is adequately cooled each step of the way from a North Queensland packing shed to Beijing supermarket, the mangoes arrive in China with very little change in colour and are actually firmer which increases their shelf life.’

Industry partners on the project are Montague Fresh, Manbulloo and Glen Grove Orchard, with the research focusing on sea and air consignments of mangoes, summerfruit and lemons bound for Asian markets.

Innovating to futureproof traditional export industries like agriculture is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Pixie Ice Cream goes global with $1.5m grant

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to create 23 new jobs over two years by upgrading its equipment to become more internationally competitive using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to increase its export presence and create 23 new jobs by upgrading its factory using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

The company will use a Made in Queensland grant plus matching company funds to install automated wrapping and boxing equipment in its Toowoomba facility.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Pixie was a family-owned company that had been turning Darling Downs milk and other local products into ice cream for nearly 60 years.

‘This technology will save the company approximately $1.1 million a year in operating costs and increase distribution capacity in Australia, as well as helping to increase Pixie’s recent foothold in North American and Asia-Pacific markets,’ Mr Dick said.

‘The combination of Pixie’s equal investment with the State Government means its workforce can increase by more than 25% to 110 employees, up from 87.’

Mr Dick said Pixie was one of the first recipients of a grant from the Made in Queensland program, which offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

He said a new round of grant applications was now being assessed.

‘Queensland’s $20 billion manufacturing sector already employs approximately 165,000 people,’ Mr Dick said.

‘In April I announced the opening of the second round of the $40 million Made in Queensland program and we have received 115 expressions of interest.’

The EOIs are currently being assessed to see which applicants will move onto the next phase of assessment.

The Made in Queensland funding program complements the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which sets out a vision for an innovative, sustainable and globally recognised advanced manufacturing sector in Queensland by 2026.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Precinct to host artificial intelligence hub

Fortitude Valley’s Precinct start-up space will expand and house a new artificial intelligence (AI) hub as a result of funding included in this year’s Queensland Budget.

Fortitude Valley’s Precinct start-up space will expand and house a new artificial intelligence hub as a result of funding included in this year’s Queensland Budget.

As part of its budget statements, the government announced a further $50 million investment in the Advance Queensland initiative, which promotes innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across the state.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Queensland wanted to position itself as a world leader in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other high-tech industries.

‘That is why we are lifting our overall investment in Advance Queensland to a $650 million program,’ she said.

‘We are investing $15 million in the IndustryTech fund to back projects that develop and deploy these cross-cutting technologies right here in Queensland, and we will also create an artificial intelligence hub.

‘In areas like drones, this kind of support has helped place Queensland as a global centre for technology development, benefiting our defence support, agriculture and resources sectors.’

The new funding will also enable the Precinct to expand and provide more space for Queensland start-ups.

The venue launched in March 2017 and is now home to 17 businesses, including SoftBank, CSIRO’s Data61 and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, with 27 more start-ups on a waiting list for office space.

The new funding will enable the Precinct to add an extra floor and increase its available space by 50%.

One of The Precinct’s foundation tenants, video app developer Clipchamp, has nearly quadrupled its user numbers in the past 12 months, with almost 4 million registered users around the world and a growing team.

Clipchamp co-founder and CEO Alex Dreiling said the company had experienced first-hand the benefits of being part of an innovation hub.

‘We were an isolated start-up before, in a managed office, with challenges that none of the businesses around us had,’ Mr Dreiling said.

‘The Precinct is obviously filled with start-ups, so we can get help and help others at any time. Just sharing the space with likeminded people is inspiring.

‘Start-ups have the potential to become an economic engine in Queensland outside the traditional sectors.’

Supporting innovation through the start-up sector is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.