Super-sized quails from the Brisbane Valley are heading to Hong Kong’s high-end restaurants and may enter the Singapore market later this year after TIQ opened doors in Asia for their producer.
Brisbane Valley Protein (BVP) aims to be processing 5,000 quails a week by the end of the year to meet demand from Hong Kong’s high-end food sector.
He said TIQ’s support had put the company well ahead in its export journey.
‘Working with TIQ has helped BVP navigate the complex and daunting Asian food scene,’ he said.
‘We are farmers and growers on a fast-learning curve to become exporters, and their support and expertise has put us years ahead in terms of connections and know-how.
‘At the HOFEX and Food and Hotel Asia missions I had the opportunity to meet high-end supermarket buyers, executive chefs from fine dining restaurants, 5-star hotels and meat importers.
‘During the 2019 mission I chose premium food and meat importer Waves Pacific to represent Brisbane Valley Protein and our exporting goals became reality.’
Mr Brown encouraged other Queensland producers to have confidence and take their time to choose the right export partners.
‘Be yourself … people love dealing with the farmer direct,’ he said.
‘And find a niche – it is hard to compete on price so we need a clear quality differential.
‘Remember you are choosing them as well as them choosing you. Don’t be rushed into a partnership, you want to enjoy the relationship.’
Almost twice the size of the average bird, the super-sized quails are the result of careful selection over time by Hunter Valley farmer Charlie Scott, who painstakingly picked bigger quails and effectively developed his own breed.
An alliance between Mr Scott and BVP saw the Queensland business become custodians of what is now the world’s largest table quail.
‘70% of BVP’s quails have a dressed weight of 300 to 350 grams as compared to an average quail’s dressed weight of 180 to 200 grams,’ he said.
‘This makes the quails easier to cook and more enjoyable to eat.’
Mr Brown said the company’s three-year goal was to be exporting 10,000 birds a week into Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam.
Showcasing Queensland products in overseas markets and supporting Queensland exporters are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.