Mungbean producers set sights on new ways to export into Asia
Friday, 16 December 2016
Damien and Jonnie White from Australian Mungbean Company are growing their futures with the trip to Shanghai with AccessChina’16.
Mr White said after he arrived in Shanghai that the scale of opportunity quickly became apparent as he toured major warehouses and e-commerce sites.
“Typically, what we’re engaged in is producing Mungbean seed for growers and helping them grow that seed into a commercial product, which we then process and clean and export to largely Asian markets around the world,” he said.
“We hear the hype about how booming China is and how it’s a massive market and massive opportunity.”
The pair are part of the Western Downs Eastern Opportunities project that is providing businesses with the tools, knowledge, information and assistance to further explore export markets.
Since April, they have been part of the QGC sponsored WDEO program, engaging with Food Leaders Australia to gain a greater understanding of trade pathways.
They joined AccessChina’16, a five-day trade delegation to expand their networks and find out how they could develop existing export channels.
“We’ve visited quite a few retail outlets, we’ve seen some big supply channel warehouses at the airport and we’ve also had a look at the new and emerging industry of e-commerce and places that support that,” Mr White said.
“Alibaba was quite amazing, the scale and sophistication was absolutely incredible.”
Mrs White said after their trip, they were more aware of the changing ways consumers were buying their produce as well as the multiple outlets for getting products to customers.
“We process and pack about 10-15,000 tonne of Mungbean, 98% of which are for export markets every year, we want to go closer to the end customer, the paddock to plate scenario,” she said.
Mr White said the networking with other AccessChina’16 delegates was also valuable as a way to hear their experiences or opportunities for the China market.
“There’s an existing market for Mungbeans in China, we do export nearly 40% of Australia’s Mungbeans for China as it is.
“It’s more about what format it’s currently coming into China in and whether we can do it better and do it differently and in the process maintaining the value that our premium Australian Mungbeans are achieving.”
Food Leaders Australia CEO Dr Ben Lyons said the next step for Australia Mungbean Co was to break down the China market into segments and based on geographic location.
“Australian Mungbean Co already have good sales into China, and for them this project is now looking at how we improve that market exploitation,” he said.
“This project represents exporters that are not only in the early stages but developing new markets for established exporters.”
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.