March 2020

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Queensland’s CrampFix settles into stride at Arab Health

Doing business in the Middle East is like running a marathon according to sports supplement manufacturer CrampFix – it takes persistence and patience but the ultimate rewards can be great.

Doing business in the Middle East is like running a marathon according to sports supplement manufacturer CrampFix – it takes persistence and patience but the ultimate rewards can be great.

The Burleigh-based company was among 9 Queensland businesses from the health sector who recently attended the Arab Health trade show in Dubai, with support from TIQ Middle East and Austrade.

The annual 4-day event is the largest gathering of healthcare trade professionals in the Middle East and North Africa region.

CrampFix owner and founder Jan Buchegger said attending Arab Health for the third time offered the company a chance to promote itself differently.

‘Arab Health 2020 allowed us to explore the health side of our business further,’ Mr Buchegger said.

‘While our key product is an anti-cramping supplement for sports professionals and enthusiasts, last year we launched a new spray version for everyday people who also suffer from cramps.’

Mr Buchegger said CrampFix had been working with TIQ for the past 3 years, both in the Middle East and other markets, and its help at events like Arab Health had been invaluable.

‘If you have a trade show with thousands of exhibitors, to actually get to meet representatives from big pharmacy retailers at Arab Health, like LIFE Pharmacy and Dr Nutrition, is really difficult.

‘TIQ’s business development managers Leah Arnold and David Hackett from the Middle East office helped set up some face-to-face meetings with these major players which were fantastic and have generated some really good leads for us.

‘The UAE is a great place to do business but you need to be patient to be successful because the business culture is quite unique.’

Crampfix recently secured a local agent in Dubai who helped facilitate promotional opportunities at major sporting events including the Urban-Ultra Hajar 100km run and IronMan 70.3 Dubai.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said the Queensland health sector had great potential to do well in the Middle East, and it was well worth the time required to build strong relationships.

‘We had such a diverse range of companies exhibiting this year – from functional foods and sports supplements to vegan cosmetics manufacturers,’ Ms Massie said.

‘This diversity shows that Queensland is home to some really innovative entrepreneurs.

‘Next year’s Arab Health will occur during Expo 2020 Dubai so we’re hoping to have even more Queensland companies exhibiting.

’This is a great market with so much potential for Queensland businesses willing to invest some time and energy.’

Arab Health 2020 was held at the World Trade Centre in late January and attracted 80,000 attendees and 4,262 exhibitors.

Supporting Queensland exporters to enter new markets is a key objective of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

If you’re interested in exporting to the Middle East, connect with TIQ today.

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New one-stop portal to help Queensland agribusiness

A new web portal is providing the information and services Queensland agricultural producers need to grow their businesses, including those wanting to export or seek investment.

A new web portal is providing the information and services Queensland agricultural producers need to grow their businesses, including those wanting to export or seek investment.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the new One-stop service for agricultural development and investment would help break down barriers preventing agri-innovators from turning their business dreams into reality.

‘If you are looking to grow your business or expand, this site is your gateway to everything you need to make that happen,’ Mr Furner said.

‘It provides the latest information on government services, agribusiness support, mapping tools and funding, agricultural processing and manufacturing, and trade, investment and export.’

Mr Furner said a key aim of the new website was to attract agribusiness investment to Queensland, and create jobs and opportunities in regional and rural areas.

The service is free and is open to new and existing agribusinesses looking to diversify, intensify or expand their existing holdings.

The service supports developments across the entire supply chain, including processing or logistics proposals, and agtech and innovation solutions or services.

The One-stop service portal was launched in January this year.

Agriculture is identified as an export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Queensland agricultural producers seeking export or investment advice can also connect with TIQ.

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Women in trade: Kim Parascos, iVolve

Kim Parascos won the Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business at the 2019 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

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

Kim Parascos, CEO, iVolve Industrial Technology
iVolve provides technology and tools to small to mid-tier miners and contractors around the world. Ms Parascos won the Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business at the 2019 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

What does your job involve day to day?
Listening to team members and customers, then helping them make the best decisions they can.

What is your biggest success in your working life?
My proudest achievement over the past 5 years is the survival of iVolve during the mining downturn, when both suppliers and customers commented, ‘How are you surviving when most companies your size no longer exist?’, and then successfully growing the business by an average of 50% each year for the past 3 years.

I learnt that you have little control over your market environment but you do have control over the relationships you build with your customers and partners. Ultimately, they are the ones who will see you through difficult times. Being honest and open with your staff when you are making tough decisions and explaining the ‘why’ builds a solid team that helps you weather a storm. Choosing your time to grow and time to stabilise matters more than anything else, and diversifying your markets helps to minimise the peaks and troughs. Persistence is what wins in the end.

What’s something you know now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Mainly I would say that small increments lead to big change. Be patient, value your persistence and keep things turning over.

I would also encourage my younger self to build a network. I believe in the power of peer mentor groups and I am a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Spending time with fellow business owners who are striving to grow their businesses has offered me a wealth of experience and learning opportunities. I have been introduced to the power of a morning routine to help set up the day. This enforces regular effort on big tasks, which sees results.

I also have an excellent support group of businesswomen who meet semi regularly. These women share their experiences in mixing an active work life with family and helped me understand that different things work for different people and finding the mix that works for you is okay.

Your top 3 tips for succeeding in the workplace?

All clichés (but true)!

  • Listen to learn not to answer.
  • Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room.
  • Keep things ticking over. Constantly.

 

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Women in trade: Krista Watkins, Natural Evolution

Walkamin-based Natural Evolution Foods converts previously wasted green bananas into nutritious flour, supplements, healing ointments and skincare. The company won the Emerging Exporter Award at the 2019 Premier of Queensland Export Awards.

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

Krista Watkins, Managing Director, Natural Evolution
Walkamin-based Natural Evolution Foods converts previously wasted green bananas into nutritious flour, supplements, healing ointments and skincare. The company won the Emerging Exporter Award at the 2019 Premier of Queensland Export Awards

What does your job involve day to day?
Like most directors, I am responsible for setting the strategic direction and providing guidance to ensure that our company achieves its financial vision, mission and long-term goals. I travel for work but, when I’m home, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, so you’ll often find me packing orders and dispatching pallets, visiting plantations and paddocks, and I love picking up the phone and working with our customers. For me, it’s really important that I keep in touch with all tiers of our business – I regularly read and reply to our reviews and comments in the online world.

What is your biggest success in your working life?
Taking an idea from the concept idea stage and then creating not only a functioning business but one that has long-term goals and a proven record of success. It’s a very humbling thing to see the global market report for green banana powder come through and know that we at Natural Evolution created that market. Our idea, born in one of the world’s smallest towns, is making a global impact on health and wellness and creating a truly circular economy with a sustainable industry.

What’s something you know now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Never let who you were yesterday stop you from what you can be tomorrow. We all have hard days in business and at work, and it’s really easy to let it consume us. In years gone by, I spent time obsessing over issues instead of letting them go when the day ended. It brought yesterday’s drama into a fresh cycle. It is important to start every day with a fresh perspective and never let a situation derail you from achieving your long-term vision.

Your top 3 tips for succeeding in the workplace?

  • Relationships – invest time in building relationships with staff, customers and anyone that you work with along the way. These can have a profound impact on what we are able to achieve as individuals or together. Once people understand you and you make a point of understanding them, you’ll find that getting the most out of your time together will be much easier.
  • Quality time – make the hours that you work count. That means taking time for yourself, eating well, exercising, sleeping and doing things that make you happy even if that’s doing absolutely nothing. It’s really important to listen to what your body needs. When you take care of yourself physically and mentally you’re able to achieve so much more in a shorter time frame. Quality time for yourself means quality application of yourself in the workplace.
  • Be positive and proactive – it’s very easy to be reactive rather than proactive in dealing with the wide range of situations that come up in business. It does take time and persistence to train yourself and your team into adopting a positive proactive thinking framework. The benefit of doing this is that you will be able to celebrate the small wins, find gratitude in experiences and be better prepared for what happens in your journey both in life and business.
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Women in trade: our TIQ commissioners

TIQ has 5 great women who champion Queensland as trade and investment commissioners around the world. They are a critical part of our 16-office overseas network.

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

TIQ has 5 great women who champion Queensland as trade and investment commissioners  around the world. They are a critical part of our 16-office overseas network.

They’ve served as company directors, worked for national governments, held leadership positions at international universities and speak multiple languages. We asked each of our female commissioners to give us a message to share for International Women’s Day.

China commissioner Julie-Anne Nichols: Women are their own toughest critics. We feel unnecessary guilt, let doubt hinder our drive and dreams, shy away from centre stage when the applause should be ours, or lose our voice when we most need to call out. Let’s find confidence through each other, and with each other, to make a difference, to disrupt and not judge, to lead and follow, to recognise and reward.

North America commissioner Viki Forrest: We should eliminate the effects of unconscious bias by firstly building diverse teams then listening to the entire team – not just the loud voices, not just the comfortable opinions, not just what is easy to understand. Listen carefully to the quiet, the uncomfortable, the difficult to comprehend.

Middle East commissioner Donna Massie: I would encourage every young woman to engage in international trade and have a global presence. It’s not an easy road but it’s a rewarding one. To be able to travel the world and engage with difference cultures and societies has been the greatest privilege of my career.

Europe commissioner and Agent-General for Queensland Linda Apelt: As the 47th Queensland Agent-General, one of Queensland’s oldest public offices, I’m honoured to represent Queensland in the UK and throughout Europe. I’m also pleased to support the growing number of women exporters and entrepreneurs who are contributing to our economy across the globe. Queensland’s reputation for enabling women to aspire to the highest offices and jobs, to lead businesses and, most importantly, to inspire more generations of girls and boys to strive to do their best to achieve an inclusive and purpose-driven society, is to be commended.

Hong Kong commissioner Julia Herries: Take your seat at the table and speak up so your voice is heard, but do it with grace, as well as conviction. Listen, encourage, support and celebrate other women to build their confidence. Work to enhance men’s understanding of the challenges faced by women – their support is critical to achieve widespread advancement in equality. We are all in this together: an equal world is an enabled world.

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Women in trade: Julia Wheway, Bowen Gumlu Growers

Julia Wheway has worked with TIQ’s Study Queensland team on the Whitsunday Agri-Knowledge Sharing Project, which provides Japanese agriculture graduates with hands-on training in Queensland.

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

Julia Wheway, Agriculture Workforce Officer – Bowen Gumlu Growers Association
Julia has worked with TIQ’s Study Queensland team on the Whitsunday Agri-Knowledge Sharing Project, which provides Japanese agriculture graduates with hands-on training in Queensland.

What does your job involve day to day?
I am very fortunate to have a very varied role, which involves working with growers, workers, government and various industry representatives. One day is never the same as the next. I have a hat, pair of jeans and boots at the ready in my car to switch between business meetings, presenting industry information at events and visiting growers to talk about workforce and training.

What is your biggest success in your working life?
The work I have done to promote and develop international education opportunities in various industries in the Whitsunday region. I came from the UK working in international education and I have managed to bring these skills to regional Australia, where there are so many opportunities to grow relationships with international partners. I’ve met people from all over the world and, most importantly, have contributed to people having experiences that’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

What’s something you know now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Just yesterday, I was talking to a group of year 12 students about developing skills for a career in agriculture. It really makes you think about your own life journey and ask ‘How on earth did I get here?’. We discussed the importance of knowing what you love and don’t love doing and staying true to that when looking for a career. I would tell my younger self that you will not always get immediate rewards for the work you do or the choices you make; you have to sometimes step outside your comfort zone to find yourself in places you never dreamed possible. Also, get really good at tennis or any sport, you can earn A LOT of money hitting a ball around a court!

Your top 3 tips for succeeding in the workplace?

  • Be resilient – What can make one day seem like I’m climbing Mount Fuji usually changes the very next day and inspires me to keep going! If you truly believe in something, don’t give up, no matter how hard it gets, something good is just around the corner.
  • Be energetic – Positive energy is contagious. Even if you are not feeling confident, staying positive about a situation and having good energy gets you through stressful situations and brings out the leader in you.
  • Be the instigator and listener – Making assumptions about what people are thinking or doing leads to miscommunication and anxiety. Take the time to listen to your colleagues and people you are engaging with to truly understand what their perspectives are.
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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.