Scenic Rim business The Lime Caviar Company has exported to 2 new overseas markets in recent weeks, and is encouraging other Queensland businesses to ‘hang in there’ in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The company, which produces gourmet finger lime pearls on its farm near Rathdowney, exported its first shipments to Kuwait and the USA this month.

Owner and manager Ian Douglas said the company had also started resupplying existing overseas customers for the first time since their export business plunged in March due to COVID-19’s global impacts on the gourmet food sector.

‘Things started to open up about 5 weeks ago,’ Mr Douglas said.

‘Since then, we’ve sent product to Denmark, France and Japan to existing customers.

‘We’ve also sent about 400 cartons to a distributor in Kuwait for the first time this month, and 800 cartons to a new distributor in Miami, who is our first customer in the USA.

‘It’s surprising we are still getting new orders at a time like this, but we’re finding that they are still pushing ahead despite COVID-19.’

Mr Douglas said the company’s online presence was critical to acquiring new customers overseas in the current conditions.

‘Word is getting around about our product, and most of our new customers have approached us directly through our website,’ he said.

‘We are now negotiating with another company in Los Angeles, who contacted us online.

‘Our Miami distributor supplies the eastern seaboard of the USA, while the LA company supplies the West Coast, so that could be a real achievement for us in that market.

‘And we’re also talking to a potential distributor in Taiwan, who supplies supermarkets and restaurants.’

Mr Douglas said the company had faced challenges in getting their most recent shipments to customers due to air-freight disruptions and COVID-19 regulations, but it was good to begin what would be a gradual recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

‘We’re slowly getting there but it will still be a while,’ he said.

‘I’d encourage other food exporters to hang in there if they can.

‘I think things are going to come back and, when they do, the pent-up demand will be significant.

‘There’ll be a new way of doing things – a new set of food businesses looking for quality products.’

TIQ Ipswich has worked with The Lime Caviar Company over a number of years, and TIQ’s overseas offices have also supported the company’s overseas expansion in various markets.

Agriculture is identified as one of the state’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy – 2017–2022.

If you’d like support getting your products into export markets, including advice on current air-freight arrangements, connect with TIQ today.