Japanese delegates tour new Victorian AgriBio facility

A group of senior executives from Japan, in Melbourne for the 54th Annual Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference, have toured the state-of-the-art AgriBio Centre in Bundoora to see how Victoria is leading in innovative agricultural practices.

The tour, that included a mix of executives from Japan and Australian, came on the third and final day of the  business conference, designed to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

The joint-delegation was representative of a number of key industry sectors including meat & livestock, financial services, manufacturing, energy and agriculture.

Delegates were taken through the facility and treated to presentations by the centre’s scientists that included plant and animal biosecurity, genomic technologies, molecular phenomics, plant functional genomics and computational biology.

A joint-initiative between the Victorian Government and La Trobe University, AgriBio is Australia’s first-integrated agricultural systems biology research centre and has been designed to protect and progress Victoria’s multi-billion dollar agricultural sector.

The $288 million dollar state-of-the-art AgriBio centre focuses on cutting edge research and development that aims to improve productivity, fight disease and significantly reduce environmental impact.

The key areas of outcome for the centre are in plant and animal bioscience, biosecurity, bio protection and soil sciences.

Supporting the research arm of the centre is a number of enabling technology platforms including genomics, transciptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, phenomics, bioinformatics & advanced scientific computing and biocontainment.

Japan is Victoria’s third largest trading partner and there are currently more than 170 Japanese companies operating in Victoria, supporting the jobs of more than 10,000 Victorians.

Planning tool targeting profitable margins for Australian wine

The Gross Margin Ready Reckoner is a free and confidential business planning tool that allows wineries to run different production and market scenario simulations to determine the most relevant price point for their wine in a specific export market.

Wineries can model the impact of changes in product mix, pricing, markets and distribution strategies on their profit margins.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the Gross Margin Ready Reckoner will help to improve the competitiveness of Australian wine internationally and support the success of Australian wine businesses.

“Exports have always been critical to the success of the Australian wine sector. Currently, 60 per cent of wine produced in Australia is destined for export and in the last financial year, the value of our exports reached $2.11 billion,” he said.

‘The Gross Margin Ready Reckoner will help our sector to get the most from export opportunities as it provides a benchmark with the most suitable price point in a specific market, based on the individual business needs of a winery.

“The tool calculates profitability under different business scenarios across production and the supply chain, using information from the individual winery, as well as benchmark and tax data generated from a number of sources.”

The Gross Margin Ready Reckoner was first developed in 2007 by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Australia.

Working with Deloitte, Wine Australia has completely updated the Gross Margin Ready Reckoner to include the latest grape pricing, tax regimes, general cost updates and changes to tariff rates arising from Australia’s free trade agreements.

The tool bases its calculations on pre-populated averages and estimates across the supply chain in order to create a basic benchmark.

To create an individual benchmark report, the Gross Margin Ready Reckoner poses specific questions over three steps:

  • winegrape origin and variety
  • destination market, and
  • wine production and storage costs.

Wineries can adjust the inputs on the comparison screens to examine the impacts of changes to input costs such as exchange rates, shipping and route to market.


WA agriculture to reap benefits from rising food demand in Asia

Western Australia’s beef export industry into Asia could grow to $1 billion by 2030 and beyond, according a new report by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC).

From Paddock to Plate: WA’s potential in agriculture and agribusiness is the first report in the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre’s new Focus on Industry series and asks if WA is positioned to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the increasing global demand for high quality, secure food produce.

Using the latest data available, the report analyses the contribution of agriculture to the WA economy, and assesses the State’s natural endowments, competitive advantages, and innovative and productivity capabilities to meet increased global demand.

BCEC Director, Professor Alan Duncan, said the importance of Asia to the State’s agricultural exports will grow in the future as Asian economies develop and as global demand for food changes.

“We can expect a greater demand for meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, sugar products and baked or processed goods as economic development continues in many countries throughout Asia,” Professor Duncan said.

New estimates in this report project Australian beef exports to China alone could potentially increase from $1bn to $4.5bn by 2030, driven by a combination of increased demand for meat by the growing Asian middle class, and an expansion in efficient beef production and export volumes.

WA’s proximity to Asia creates the potential for the State’s beef producers to secure a $1bn share of exports to Asia.

Yet the positive narrative around growth in the economic value of agriculture to WA is not matched by a similar optimism for employment growth within the sector.

Jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for around 5 per cent of WA total employment in May 2005. This share has dropped to only 2.3 per cent in May 2016.

“There is work to do to reverse the fall in jobs in the State’s agriculture sector,” Professor Duncan said.

“WA held a 14.8 per cent share of national employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing in May 2005. Latest data shows this share has fallen to 9.4 per cent.

“Innovation in agricultural production, increased capital intensity and efficient use of resources all point to agriculture as one of the State’s growth sectors, but questions remain about whether this will lead to an expansion in jobs.”

However, there have been bright spots in job creation throughout the State, with the share of employees in the South-West who work in agriculture rising from 2.9 per cent in 2012 to 11.5 per cent by May 2016.

“Around 10,700 people are now employed in agriculture in Bunbury and surrounding areas of the South-West – up from 2,800 at the end of 2012,” Professor Duncan said.

“The South-West has natural endowments that lend themselves to diversified agricultural production, a commitment to high-quality, high-value produce and a strong regional brand.

“The revival of agriculture in the South-West region, not just in the value of production but in jobs, is a success story for other regions in WA to follow,” Professor Duncan said.

The economic stimulus from investment in pastoral farming in northern Australia offers a significant potential for new employment opportunities in the Kimberley and Pilbara.



Image: www.agric.wa.gov.au

Dollar’s resurgence bad news for manufacturing

The Australian dollar’s resurgence is threatening to put a stop to recovery in sectors such as manufacturing and tourism, according to some economists.

The drop from mining boom-time highs – it peaked at over $US 1.10 in 2011 – has brought relief to these industries. The easing has, for example, been cited repeatedly in the 13 straight months of 50-plus PMI results, which came to an end at the beginning of this month.

However, the dollar traded as high as $US 0.7675 last week, after being under $US 0.70 in March, and some economic advisers – such as BIS Shrapnel – have raised fears that this could slow economic growth, reports The Courier-Mail.

“The lower dollar has not only given a boost to service industries but manufacturing, which has had a tough 10 to 15 years,” Bank of Queensland economist Peter Munckton told The Courier-Mail.

“But the more the currency moves into the high US70¢, that competitive boost becomes tougher to achieve.”

Kangaroo meat company to expand in Europe

Macro Meats commercialised production of kangaroo in the late 1980s and now processes about 10,000 tonnes of the lean red meat a year for human consumption in more than 30 countries.

The South Australian company sells about 75 per cent of its kangaroo products domestically but is looking to grow sales in its major export markets of Europe, North America and Asia.

Next month, Macro Meats will be among 7000 exhibitors at SIAL Paris – the world’s largest food innovation show – where it will launch a species-specific range of premium kangaroo meat.

Macro Meats Managing Director Ray Borda said the growth in Europe had been driven by chefs who had professionally prepared the high protein, low fat red meat.

Moving from success in restaurants to finding a place in retail outlets with everyday kangaroo products such as hamburgers, sausages, meatballs and stir-fry strips has been a key to Macro Meats’ success in Australia.

However, export rules require meat to be shipped from Australia in whole pieces, making it less appealing to the cook-at-home market.

“You’ve got to start in the restaurants because they know how to cook it properly but the next stage is allowing the consumer to buy it and that’s why we’re opening our own value-adding processing plant in Europe,” Borda said.

There are an estimated 50-60 million kangaroos in Australia. About 2.5 million kangaroos are commercially harvested a year.

Although only found in Australia, kangaroos are one of the most common large wild land mammals on earth.

Macro Meats’ species-specific range is designed to promote greater consistency for consumers and will include the mild tasting Paroo (red kangaroo), medium flavoured Mallee Roo (western grey kangaroo) and the robust Mulga Roo (eastern grey kangaroo).

“The Australian consumer wants more of a milder kangaroo, whereas Asia, Germany and a few other places like something that’s a bit more robust with a little bit of a stronger flavour,” Borda said.

“Different meat of different ages from different species out of different areas have different moisture content and it tastes different and it cooks different.

“We’re trying to give it consistency.”

Borda said the high quality lean meat was popular among bodybuilders looking for new sources of protein as well as diners looking for a new food experience.

“Restaurants around the world just want something different,” he said.

“It takes a lot of explaining but we’re getting there slowly and it’s so exclusive you can only get it from one place in the world.

“Maybe in the early days people did have what we used to call ‘Skippy-syndrome’ but now it’s changed so much so that our biggest week of the year nationally and internationally is Australia Day week.”

Elders to cease live exports of cattle and sheep

Agribusiness Elders will sell its subsidiary North Australian Cattle Company (NACC), and thus exit the live export business.

As the ABC reports, NACC currently ships cattle to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia and flies cattle and sheep to China.

The move follows a comprehensive review of the company’s live export business and, according to CEO Mark Allison, does not reflect on the viability of the industry as a whole.

He said in a statement that the company remains supportive of the live export industry, and the business remains committed to the needs of its livestock producer clients.

“Our focus remains on increasing client access to a range of markets, including live export markets for their stock, and we will continue to work with industry live exporters to market our clients’ livestock,” Allison said.

He added that the export, logistics and shipping of live cattle to long haul destinations is no longer central to Elders’ strategy.

“Elders reported a loss of $2.9m from its Live Export businesses in the 6 months to 30 March 2016.  That poor result had included a loss of $3.8m attributable to the long haul business.  Since that report, margin performance in the long haul business has continued to be poor and we believe that margins are unlikely to recover in the near to medium term,” said Allison.

“In addition, we do not see that the China feeder and slaughter trade, which is yet to fully open, will deliver margins or a return on capital at levels that meets our, and our shareholders’, expectations.  As a result, we consider that the long haul of live cattle is best suited to specialist logistics operators.”

Elders expects an underlying EBIT for the full year to 30 September 2016 in the range of $54-57m.

This result reflects better than average retail activity due to seasonal conditions and strong livestock prices driving the agency result. Conversely, high cattle prices have impacted margins in the Feed and Processing businesses.

Upon finalisation of the Live Export exit, Elders’ will have circa $25m of working capital which can be redeployed in areas that meet return on capital expectations.

Image: The Advertiser

Global supply chain risk highest since 1995

Global supply chain risk climbed in the second quarter of 2016, reaching the highest levels since records began in 1995, according to the CIPS Risk Index, powered by Dun & Bradstreet.

The Index, produced for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) by Dun & Bradstreet economists, tracks the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains. The UK’s risk rating was downgraded by Dun & Bradstreet as a result of the leave vote.

This continued the worsening trend in global risk which has been following this trajectory since Q4 2015. Amid sluggish growth across developed and emerging market economies in Q2, the UK’s vote to leave the EU at the end of June marked an unprecedented event that is expected to have a reverberating effect on supply chains in the region, and also across the rest of the world.

Immediately after the result, a dramatic fall in the Pound Sterling led to soaring costs for businesses that relied on importing, prompting many to reconsider their sourcing strategies. In addition, early evidence of a drop in consumer spending and business investments in the weeks following the EU referendum result increased the risk of the UK economy falling into contraction in the third and fourth quarters.

A similar picture was seen across Western Europe, with early signs of a dip in consumer and business confidence raising concerns about a wider economic slowdown.

Brexit – consequences near and far

While the UK will still have access to the EU’s single market for at least another two years after it invokes Article 50, the medium-term outlook is less clear. If the UK and the EU are unable to find an agreement about post-Brexit market access, the effects on supply chains could be significant, potentially bringing big changes in trade and investment.

John Glen, Director of the Centre for Customised Executive Development at The Cranfield School of Management said, “The UK’s departure from the EU could lead to some of the most dramatic shifts and severe implications for global supply chains in the coming years. While the full impact of the leave vote is still unfolding, the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the current situation has already driven supply chain risk to a worryingly high level.”

At a global level, the Brexit vote underlines concerns about a wider shift towards protectionism in global trade policy. In France, the UK vote has given a boost to the Front National which is campaigning for more economic protectionism; the party also wants to hold an EU membership referendum. A victory for Marine Le Pen, the party’s leader, in the parliamentary and presidential elections next year is an unlikely scenario, but if it happens, it could lead to another sharp rise in supply chain risk. In the US, the presidential election shows that a significant proportion of the population feel that global trade has not been in their interest.

Trump causing uncertainty in the US

While the US risk score remained stable in Q2, the outlook is uncertain. If Donald Trump wins, he is likely to seek to increase trade barriers with countries such as China and Mexico, two countries at the top of the global manufacturing food-chain. This in turn will have a significant impact on global supply chain networks.

APAC stabilising

Meanwhile, concerns about a near-term collapse in China’s growth have subsided and the associated rise in commodity prices has taken some of the strain off Australia. The country’s risk rating, as a result, improved by one quartile in June 2016.

Global supply chain risk Q2 2016


If the French can do it for champagne… Xenophon wants legal protection for Australian terms, products

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has suggested laws to protect Australian terms used by Australian manufacturers, following US company Deckers suing manufacturer Australian Leather.

“This is a battle worth having. If the French can protect the use of the word champagne, the Greeks the use of the word feta, then surely Australia can protect the use of the word Ugg for Australian manufacturers,” he told the ABC.

The comment came following the attempt by Deckers to sue western Sydney company Australian Leather over the word Ugg. Deckers reportedly sells an approximate $1 billion of Ugg boots annually.

Australian entrepreneur Brian Smith made an application at the US Patent Office in 1985 for the term, and lately sold the trademark to Deckers. It has sued two other Australian companies for the use of “Ugg”.

In a counter-lawsuit, the lawyer for Eddie Oygur of Australian Leather is using evidence such as surfing magazines going back to 1970 to contend the term was already a generic Australian one, well before any patent.

Chinese business to set up food and agriculture investment fund

Beijing-based investment management company Tsing Capital plans to establish a $1 billion fund for specialist food and agriculture investment in Australia.

The Australian reports that the fund will invest in high tech fermentation and extraction of grains, cane and vegetables, with the intention on supplying the market for health foods and dietary supplements in mainland China.

The plan is to invest in the entire supply chain, from paddock to consumer, and therefore will include establishing processing factories in Victoria’s Wimmera region.

As the Weekly Times reports, Tsing Capital founder and managing partner Don Ye (pictured right) and Australian Charles Hunting (left) plan to raise between $500 million to $1 billion in capital, with the possibility of increasing that amount to $2 billion through loans.

According to Hunting, the investment is being driven by Chinese demand.

“We’re not creating the food products for the sake of hopefully getting that food into the Chinese market,” he said.

“The plan is to bring strategic Chinese investors who have distribution networks in China so that we can create an end-to-end opportunity that is demand driven, not supply driven.”

The end products for export to China are likely to include high-protein health supplements, tonics, pills and sports drinks, as well as vitamins and nutraceuticals.

Image: The Australian


Australian Made Campaign to provide ‘Accessing China’ webinar

The Australian Made Campaign has partnered with the New South Wales Business Chamber’s Export Growth China initiative to provide a live, interactive webinar aimed at helping Australian businesses make the most of export opportunities and access one of the largest markets in the world, China.

The webinar will explain how country of origin branding can help businesses market their products as genuinely Australian, primarily in China.

Attendees will learn about opportunities available to Australian Made licensees including Oz-Town, Aunew, Premium Australian Food, AusCham and AuShop. They’ll also find out more about Export Growth China, an initiative which gives Australian growers and manufacturers a new channel to market and helps get products or services in front of 1.3 billion Chinese buyers, in a low cost, low risk and practical way.

AMCL Deputy Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro and Senior Manager, China Practice from Export Growth China, Sara Cheng will both be presenting the webinar and attendees will have the opportunity to ask them both questions at the end of the presentation.

“Our reputation for producing products and produce to high quality and safety standards is driving sales in Australia, but we’re also seeing a huge impact overseas – opportunities for exporters are booming,” Lazzaro said.

The webinar is free and will be held at 12pm AEST on Thursday, 4 August 2016.

More information is available here.

The Australian Made Campaign has partnered with the New South Wales Business Chamber’s Export Growth China initiative to provide a live, interactive webinar aimed at helping Australian businesses make the most of export opportunities and access one of the largest markets in the world, China.

The webinar will explain how country of origin branding can help businesses market their products as genuinely Australian, primarily in China.

Attendees will learn about opportunities available to Australian Made licensees including Oz-Town, Aunew, Premium Australian Food, AusCham and AuShop. They’ll also find out more about Export Growth China, an initiative which gives Australian growers and manufacturers a new channel to market and helps get products or services in front of 1.3 billion Chinese buyers, in a low cost, low risk and practical way.

AMCL Deputy Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro and Senior Manager, China Practice from Export Growth China, Sara Cheng will both be presenting the webinar and attendees will have the opportunity to ask them both questions at the end of the presentation.

“Our reputation for producing products and produce to high quality and safety standards is driving sales in Australia, but we’re also seeing a huge impact overseas – opportunities for exporters are booming,” Lazzaro said.

The webinar is free and will be held at 12pm AEST on Thursday, 4 August 2016.

 More information is available here.

Food sector prominent in latest export growth figures

The food and agricultural sectors have filled 11 positions in a list of the nation’s top 20 industries by growth in exports over the five years through 2015-16.

IBISWorld compiled the list against the backdrop of Australia’s recently-signed free trade agreements.

According to IBISWorld, the top 20 exporting industries by growth in merchandise exports, excluding services, are estimated to be worth $22.3 billion in 2015-16. Merchandise trade, which excludes services, across all industries has been calculated by IBISWorld to be worth $260.6 billion to the Australian economy, or 15.7% of GDP.

“Analysis conducted by IBISWorld shows that the top 20 fastest-growing exports will rise between 10.6% and 36.3% annualised over the five years through 2015-16,” said Ms Jem Anning, IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst.

Four of the notable industries in the top 20 list include Rice Growing, Seafood Processing, Grape Growing, and Cider Production.

Rice bowl of Asia

Accounting for 61.5% of industry revenue in 2015-16, Australian rice exports are an incredibly important part of the Rice Growing industry. The industry is estimated to generate revenue of more than $619 million in 2015-16, which has increased at an annualised 29.5% over the past five years. By 2020-21, the value of rice exports is anticipated to be $468.1 million, up from $380.7 million in 2015-16.

Overseas markets hooked

Exports in the Seafood Processing industry are forecast to have grown by an annualised 27.3% over the five years through 2015-16 to account for 75.4% of industry revenue in 2015-16.

IBISWorld found rising imports have encouraged domestic seafood producers to focus on exports by capitalising on growing economic prosperity and rising disposable incomes in many Asian nations.

Most significantly, Vietnam is the main destination for Australian seafood exports, representing 62.6% of total exports. IBISWorld found that exports to Vietnam, particularly rock lobster and abalone, have grown rapidly over the four years through 2014-15.

Low hanging fruit

The Grape Growing industry has enjoyed substantial growth in exports over the past five years. In 2010-11, grape exports represented 8.4% of revenue, a figure that IBISWorld anticipates will more than triple to 26.8% by 2020-21.

IBISWorld highlighted that overall industry performance is not reflective of the strong performance of table grapes, as wine grapes make up the vast majority of industry revenue at 67.6%.

Bubbling away

Australia’s historic cider producers have enjoyed buoyant export growth over the last five years. Exports made up an estimated 2.9% share of revenue in 2010-11, and are anticipated to reach 5.5% by 2020-21. In the years 2010-11 to 2015-16, IBISWorld calculated export growth to be 25.8% annualised and valued exports at $16.5 million in 2015-16.

Top 20 industries by export growth 2010-11 through 2015-16

Industry 2015-2016 Growth 


Five-year export growth to 2015-16


Value of exports 2015-16 

$ millions

Prefabricated Wooden Building Manufacturing in Australia -5.6 36.3 32.9
Bauxite Mining in Australia 7.3 33.8 1006.8
Rice Growing in Australia -4.7 29.5 380.7
Seafood Processing in Australia 12.9 27.3 1008.9
Grape Growing in Australia 13.3 26.6 285.3
Cider Production in Australia 6.6 25.8 16.5
Health Snack Food Production in Australia 45.6 21.0 36.0
Non-Ferrous Metal Casting in Australia -72.4 19.5 0.5
Beef Cattle Farming in Australia 18.6 19.0 1615.6
Citrus, Banana and Other Fruit Growing in Australia -0.7 17.5 429.7
Carbon Dioxide Production in Australia 3.1 16.8 2.9
Structural Steel Fabricating in Australia 5.0 16.2 159.6
Aircraft Manufacturing and Repair Services in Australia 8.4 15.6 2060.7
Toy and Sporting Good Manufacturing in Australia 6.6 15.4 205.0
Hay and Other Crop Growing in Australia 8.9 14.9 228.6
Mattress Manufacturing in Australia 4.1 14.8 4.5
Milk and Cream Processing in Australia 4.7 14.2 272.0
Meat Processing in Australia 2.9 13.3 14134.0
Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing in Australia 9.9 13.2 365.0
Apple, Pear and Stone Fruit Growing in Australia 6.3 10.6 84.7


China overtakes US as most attractive food and beverage market

China is the most attractive export market for food and beverage companies, according to the 2016 IESE Food and Beverage Attractiveness (FBA) Index. The FBA Index analyzes markets for the best business and export opportunities.

The United States has dropped to second place, while Germany holds steady as the most attractive European destination in third place.

The study, conducted by IESE Professor Jaume Llopis, researcher Júlia Gifra and Deloitte analyzed 82 food and beverage export destinations.

The index puts China’s success down to several factors, in particular to the 11 percent growth of its middle class with the highest provisions of future spending growth, with the economic and urbanization expansion increasing at a steady pace.

China also boasts many cities with populations larger than many countries – the top five have over 10 million inhabitants – and Shanghai has 23 million.

The United States still remains at the top major global importer of food and beverage. It is third globally for total population and is one of the top ten countries for ease of doing business.

Germany stands out for its spending on importing food and beverages. It is helped along by its expansive middle class – 82 percent of all German households – and stable legal framework.

New to this year’s ranking is Singapore which has greatly improved legal conditions for exportation – in spite of its reduced population. On the other hand, Brazil and Russia have lost attractiveness due to the economic crisis and geopolitical tensions.

When it comes to food exportation opportunities, China has become the market of choice for products like bread and cereals, while the US is top exporter in the world for fish, fruit and vegetables.

Japan imports meat, while India opts for oil and sugar products. Germany continues to be the main importer of eggs and lactose products.

Europe keeps its place as the most attractive continent for exporting with 10 countries in the top 20 index, with Spain taking 13th place. Asia is also very attractive for exporting down to not only China’s market potential, but India and Japan being in the top 10 countries of the Attractiveness Index and Hong Kong in 11th and South Korea in 17th places respectively.

Online shopping agreement links Australia and Korea

Australasian online shopping channel, Yes Shop, has signed a supply agreement which could help Australian food manufacturers break into Korea.

The reciprocal agreement allows Australian brands to list their products on Hyundai’s HMall online shopping platform. Hyundai Department Store Group is one of the biggest retailers in South Korea, with its Home Shopping and Online businesses among the biggest there too.

“This supply agreement allows Australian Food & Beverage producers to sell their products to South Korean consumers, without having to invest hundreds of thousands in warehousing, distributing and marketing their products,” said Paul Ding, Director, Yes Shop

HMall carries over 2 million lines of product and has relationships with more than 3,500 suppliers of quality products and global brands. South Korea has the world’s most developed home shopping market, where online retail recently over-took traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ department stores in sales.

“Similar to the Amazon model, producers warehouse their own goods, and ship directly to the purchaser from their warehouse, allowing both large and small businesses to take advantage of this agreement, without needing to invest in a large production run up-front,” Ding said.

“When the Korean Free Trade Agreement is in full effect, nearly 99.8 per cent of goods will enter duty free, meaning that a range of food and beverage producers can use this agreement to gain easy access to the Korean market.

“There’s tremendous demand for high quality Australian food and beverage products in the Korean market.  Organic food products including baby foods and those with certain health or beauty benefits are highly sought after." 


Australia could send fresh milk to China by boat

Australia could export fresh milk to Asia by boat and thereby double annual milk production, a Dutch logistics and engineering company says.

As the Australian reports, Diederik Brasser, managing director of Trilobes and its sister company Milkways said the technology already exists to export large quantities of perishable produce, like milk, by sea.

And he claimed that exporting fresh milk to China could see the local industry double output from the current level of nine billion litres a year to more than 20 billion litres.

Trilobes’ technology already makes it possible to safely ship fruit juice from Central and South America to Europe. Brasser said it can do this using modular temperature-controlled refrigerated containers as well as ultra-clean systems of terminal storage and transfer.

Currently most of Australia’s milk exports to Asia are in the form of milk powder. Only a small amount of fresh milk is exported to Asia using air freight.

However, the value of fresh milk far outstrips milk powder. Chinese demand for fresh milk is booming within the expanding middle class and the product sells for $8-$10 a litre.

“Australia has a comparative advantage over New Zealand to supply this fresh milk demand by ship because it is closer to major Asian and Middle East markets, and we know we can keep the milk fresh that long,” Brasser told the Australian.

Currently, New Zealand exports a lot more milk than Australia. Its exports accounts for almost a third of global trade, while Australia’s make up just 5 per cent.

Brasser is looking for Australian partners to help develop this potential fresh milk export market.

Image: fdecomite via photopincc

Competition policy roundtable in Sydney today

Competition policy experts from government, the private sector, NGAs and academia are meeting in Sydney today.

The ICC Roundtable on Competition Policy, an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), will see participants from around the world discussing issues such as anti-trust compliance for small business, best practices in pre-merger control and the increasing importance of foreign investment reviews.

The event is hosted by the ICC and the ICC Australia, the Australian national committee of the global organisation. The ICC Australia is part of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Kate Carnell AO, the CEO of the ACCI, said: “Competition policy is always a hot topic for the business community and regulators, and the ICC Roundtable on Competition Policy is a fantastic forum for experts in the field to come together to tease out issues.

“This event again shows the value in Australian businesses playing their part in international cooperative efforts to improve policy outcomes.

“I look forward to welcoming Roundtable participants from around the world to Sydney. We hope they, and many others, will return to Sydney in 2017 when the city hosts the World Chambers Congress, another initiative of the ICC.”

The event is recommended for anyone interested in genuine exchange with competition agency officials and private sector experts.

Participants on the Roundtable include:

  • Kate Carnell AO, CEO of the ACCI
  • Paul Lugard, Chair of the ICC Competition Commission (Belgium)
  • Rod Sims, Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Anne Riley, Group Antitrust Counsel at Shell International Limited (Britain)
  • Anny Tubbs, Chief Compliance Officer at Unilever Legal Group (Belgium)
  • Patrick Hubert, Partner at Clifford Chance Europe (France)
  • Hardin Ratshisusu, Acting Deputy Commissioner/Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Competition Commission South Africa
  • Calvin S. Goldman QC, Partner at Goodmans (Canada)
  • Andrew McBride, Acting Chief Compliance Officer at BHP Billiton (Britain)