Merivale Farms turn to online platforms to get pork onto plates in China
Friday, 09 December 2016
PORK producer Aaron Scheid will be looking to social media to build his family’s company after his return from AccessChina’16 to Shanghai as he looks to Asian export markets.
Mr Scheid runs Merivale Farms that operates on two properties, one at Allora on the Southern Downs and another at Bell on the Western Downs with about 1050 sows.
The family has run the business for over 25 years.
Merivale Farms is part of the Western Downs Eastern Opportunities project that is providing businesses with the tools, knowledge, information and assistance to explore export markets.
Since April, Mr Scheid has been part of the QGC sponsored WDEO program, engaging with Food Leaders Australia to understand trade pathways.
With the China Australia Free Trade Agreement in place for many Asian countries, Mr Scheid said building the social media presence was now vital.
“It’s a good opportunity to be educated on the processes that we could put in place and take our business to the next level,” he said.
He joined AccessChina’16, a five-day trade delegation from Toowoomba to Shanghai to expand his networks and find out what China had to offer.
“I realised that with our product back home in Australia we’ve got to do a better job at branding it and having an online presence,” he said.
“Without those things, there’s probably no potential to get to the consumer in China. We haven’t been doing that at all, so this has shown we have to go away and do those things.”
Mr Scheid joined the AccessChina full-day conference and toured major e-commerce sites Alibaba and G-shop as well as a range of other places.
FLA CEO Dr Ben Lyons said there was no doubt China was a tough market to crack for pork producers.
“Merivale Farms has thought through the process and are building an export strategy in line with their business expansion,” Dr Lyons said.
“Pork producers in Australia are going through some good market times, and whilst the domestic market is strong, it is an ideal time to look at diversifying their demand portfolio with export opportunities.”
WDEO is supported by QGC as part of its commitment to the development of sustainable regional economies and support for the agribusiness industry.
FLA is looking to continue working with QGC to extend the success of this first cohort of WDEO participants and to inspire other producers in our region to begin this journey.