May 2020

More Info +

Export Connections: networking and learning online

Southern Queensland businesses can explore future export opportunities and connect with other SMEs during an online workshop on 27 May.

Southern Queensland businesses can explore future export opportunities and connect with other SMEs during an online workshop on 27 May.

The second online Export Connections workshop will feature an exporter case study, Q&A, and a breakout session where participants can brainstorm common challenges and get advice from their exporting peers.

Marl’s Wellness Company CEO Maryann Thexton attended the first online workshop last month and said it was a great way to make professional connections and fight the isolation of COVID-19.

Her company has developed a range of prebiotics and probiotics that can be added to processed food products.

‘It’s quite helpful for small and medium business leaders to collaborate in the current climate even if we’re in completely different industries because business can be quite a lonely situation at the best of times,’ Ms Thexton said.

‘Being able to network and get the benefit of the knowledge of the TIQ team was amazing.

‘If export is on your “to do” list it’s absolutely imperative that you engage with people who are in the same space as well as government and industry bodies for whom export is their speciality.’

GI Building Sciences General Manager Rod Stead, whose company manufactures and exports building insulation, said he found the online format easy and efficient.

‘Attending was quick, sharp and effective and I could fit more into my day without the hassle of travelling somewhere,’ Mr Stead said.

‘I enjoyed the breakout session because there’s nothing like learning from the experiences of others.

‘As exporters we have the same challenges and sessions like these can identify synergies between businesses.

‘I made some connections after the meeting with a view to possibly working with those businesses in the future which was great.’

Mr Stead said any business considering exporting would find attending Export Connections worthwhile.

‘You should grab the opportunity to understand what you can learn to help you grow your business,’ he said.

‘It was a fantastic event and I’m looking forward to the next one.’

Export Connections workshops have been held in person around Queensland since 2019 as a way for exporters to network and learn from each other.

TIQ has taken these sessions online during the COVID-19 pandemic as one of several initiatives it’s implementing in response to the crisis.

The next free online Export Connections workshop will be on 27 May. Keynote speaker will be Mr Jeff Flood, CEO, Summer Land Camels. The workshop, including brainstorming sessions, will be facilitated by Brian Ruddle, Managing Director, Impact Innovation Group.

For more information email Sharyn Byrnes.

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

More Info +

Kialla supplies Asia’s lockdown baking boom

Queensland organic grain company Kialla Pure Foods has pivoted from bulk sales to a new focus on the retail market as consumers worldwide embrace a lockdown baking boom.

Queensland organic grain company Kialla Pure Foods has pivoted from bulk sales to the retail market as consumers worldwide embrace a lockdown baking boom.

Based at Greenmount on the Darling Downs, the company watched in dismay as bulk exports to Asia slowed from January to March this year, but were heartened to see retail sales of organic pancake mix and flour products taking off in Japan and Korea.

Kialla Pure Foods Managing Director Quentin Kennedy said the pandemic had changed how the company approached exporting its certified organic grains and flours, which include everything from wheat flour to products based on newly popular grains such as spelt, quinoa, millet and more.

‘Traditionally 90% of our exports are in bulk to the food service and manufacturing buyers, and only 10% go directly into the retail sector,’ Mr Kennedy said.

‘But we’ve been wanting to move away from bulk exports in Asian markets for a while because we’re competing against Turkish and Russian flour producers and it’s difficult to compete with them on a price basis.

‘The home baking boom brought about by COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to explore a retail focus more fully.’

Mr Kennedy said the company’s retail exports from 1 March to 15 May were up 141% overall on the same period last year, with exports to Japan jumping 251%.

He said Korea was another market that had shown real growth for Kialla Pure Foods during COVID-19.

TIQ helped the company enter the Korean market in 2004 and Kialla representatives have also joined TIQ trade missions to Seoul.

TIQ Korea Business Development Manager Charley Hyun said the COVID-19 pandemic had increased Korean demand for healthy products, including Kialla’s mixes.

‘Koreans have been working from home while their kids also study at home and they have been relishing the clean, green and safe image of Australian food products, especially organic foods,’ Mr Hyun said.

‘A focus by parents on healthy foods has seen sales of Kialla Pure Foods’ organic pancake mix increase by 30–50% each month since January.’

Kialla’s Quentin Kennedy said the company was now looking at how to differentiate itself from competitors in the retail space.

‘We’re looking at ways to compete in the retail sector such as promoting the traceability of our products through our Plate2farm tracker,’ he said.

‘Plate2farm allows consumers to track their product back to the farmer who grew it via a batch number so they can watch a video of the farm and read the farmer’s story.

‘Because of the increased demand we have seen domestically in Australia due to COVID-19, we’re looking to roll this feature out in Japan, Korea and Taiwan to help promote our organic pancake mix and other organic flour products in retail markets.’

Mr Kennedy said the next challenge would be converting new Kialla customers into long-term ones.

‘There was already a trend towards natural and healthy products before the pandemic, but I think people will now place a different value on food and appreciate it a little more because they’ve discovered the enjoyment of creating good food for themselves,’ he said.

‘Kialla Pure Foods’ new challenge is how do we continue to speak to those people and serve them as they keep creating their sourdough loaves.’

Exports currently account for approximately 30% of Kialla Pure Foods’ business, with the company exporting around 1,000 tonnes of flour annually, milled from grains grown by certified organic farmers in Queensland, interstate and, when necessary, overseas.

The company employs 37 staff at its Greenmount mill.

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

More Info +

Apply for Go Global grants by 29 May

Businesses have until 29 May to apply to the TIQ Go Global program, which provides export-ready small and medium-sized businesses with financial support to enter a new international market.

As the world starts to re-emerge from lockdown, now is the time for Queensland SMEs to apply for a Go Global grant to help take their products overseas.

Queensland businesses have until 29 May to apply to Go Global, a TIQ program that provides export-ready small and medium-sized businesses with financial support to enter a new international market.

Two levels of project funding are available:

  • Micro Export Grants up to $5,000 (excluding GST)
  • Macro Export Grants up to $25,000 (excluding GST).

Grants are available to support projects that improve your ability to export goods/services or engage in international trade. Eligible projects may include:

  • export business advisory services and tools
  • product testing and redesign, packaging and labelling for export
  • support to gain export accreditation
  • trial export programs (eg logistics)
  • product approvals, installation, training, operations and maintenance required for a new client/market
  • professional advice.

Grants are not available for everyday business operations, and other conditions also apply.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • be headquartered in Queensland
  • have no more than 200 full-time equivalent employees
  • have a specific project requiring funding to finalise a sale into a new international market that can be completed within 12 months
  • be pre-qualified by TIQ as export-ready (although you do not need to be currently exporting)
  • be able to match the Go Global contribution with cash contributions sourced internally or from investors, customers or business partners (not other grant sources).

This application round will close at 1.00pm on 29 May 2020.

For more information on the program, contact your local TIQ team.

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

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.