Exploring Bundy's potential markets in South Korea
A RECENT trip to South Korea has opened Bree Grima's eyes to a world of export opportunities for Bundaberg region farmers.
Ms Grima, who is managing director for Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, said she had returned confident of opportunities for local growers, particularly those who grew lettuce, spinach, broccoli, kale and radicchio.
She joined representatives from the Lockyer Valley and the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association as part of a trade mission to South Korea which saw them visiting the wholesale markets, port facilities, buyers and importer warehouses, a farm visit, as well as formal meetings with trade officials and retail and wholesale buyers.
"We can be limited by market access to particular countries and therefore we focus on those that we have direct entry to," Ms Grima said.
"The Free Trade Agreements have made it easier for growers to export and as tariffs into those countries reduce the financial incentive to consider these markets rise.
"Exporting is a commitment and producers need to display capacity to meet importer expectations however many producers in this region are already successfully exporting to places including Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia and many more."
She said the next step would be for producers to establish business relationships with potential importers and if the price was right for both importer and exporter doors could open.
"Establishing export markets is important for economic development and can assist in reducing pressure on the domestic floor, which may result in better prices all round for producers," she said.
"Exporters tend to be innovative, provide safer work environments and better job security."
Ms Grima said BFVG would continue to provide opportunities for producers to take part in these delegations and where growers could not attend themselves, represent them and start the conversation so that they can take it from there.