Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ's Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings' CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ’s Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 24 April in Singapore by IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow and Clinton Fang Yuen, founder of the FNQ Food Incubator and owner of Cairns-based Fang’s Chilli Sauce.

The signing took place at the Taste of Queensland booth at the Food and Hotel Asia trade show.

The FNQ Food Incubator is a collective of FNQ food and drink manufacturers, marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, dedicated to helping local food SMEs succeed at home and overseas.

The new agreement aims to provide these Cairns-based food businesses with easier access into ASEAN countries using IM Holdings’ logistics and distribution networks.

Mr Siow said the agreement was part of the company’s ongoing strategy to facilitate SME food and agribusiness exports from Australia, with support from Enterprise Singapore.

‘This is part of our ongoing strategy to support the efforts of Australia’s food and agribusiness SMEs seeking to venture into the ASEAN export market, where the demand for fresh, high-quality products continues to demonstrate solid growth,’ he said.

‘The partnership is yet another step in our overall vision to establish an export-oriented platform for Australia’s SMEs, including those from Cairns, which enjoys close geographical proximity to Asia, with efficient access into one of the world’s fastest growing regions.’

Mr Fang Yuen said that the agreement was the latest initiative from the FNQ Food Incubator, which also gives local SMEs access to the cutting-edge processing and bottling plant used to manufacture his company’s chilli sauce.

‘The aim of establishing the FNQ Incubator was to focus on helping early-stage food processors commercialise and scale the development of their food products,’ he said.

‘As well as access to the manufacturing facility, the FNQ Incubator proposes to offer a range of structured training programs designed to help entrepreneurs develop a full range of business skills to optimise their products and business practices.’

Mr Siow said that IM Holdings and Enterprise Singapore could connect FNQ food manufacturers with growing Asian markets.

‘There is a huge potential for companies in Cairns looking to export their products into the South East Asia region and beyond,’ he said.

‘However, these companies often lack the necessary capabilities and networks to do so.

‘IM Holdings strives to offer a total solution to enable such businesses and their products to gain market access in the most cost-effective and efficient way.

‘Enterprise Singapore’s extensive network and overseas market expertise has greatly expanded our reach and allowed us to forge deeper partnerships with like-minded business owners.’

TIQ helped to organise a recent visit to Cairns by IM Holdings to meet with members of the FNQ Food Incubator and begin discussions around a distribution deal.

Fang’s is one of 23 Queensland businesses currently participating in TIQ’s Food and Hotel Asia mission.

Food and Hotel Asia is the latest international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read more about the Fang’s Chilli Sauce story in this entertaining interview with Clinton Fang Yuen.