THE WA Regional Manufacturers Association (WARM) wants to form an exporting arm to promote WA-made agricultural products overseas.
Members voted unanimously for the WARM executive to pursue the initiative at last week¹s WARM annual general meeting held in Fremantle.
The idea would be to establish a cooperative among manufacturers to pool resources to seek out markets.
According to WARM committee member Allan Fisher, Primary Sales, WA is isolated and export efforts are largely left to individuals.
³A co-op would provide a much needed service to us manufacturers and I would envisage employing a person to act on behalf of co-op members in different markets,² he said.
³It would certainly defray costs to manufacturers while providing them with an entry into potential markets.²
Mr Fisher said the co-op, with the suggested name of WA Regional Exporters (WARE), would respond to projects such as the Iraq Reconstruction Aid Program.
³We¹re waiting to hear from the program chairman Trevor Flugge and I expect we may be able to provide assistance,² he said.
³We are world leaders in dryland farming and Iraq is a dryland state so much of our equipment is tailor made for that country.²
Mr Fisher said the proposed WARE had support from the WA Chamber of Commerce and transport groups.
³And Trevor is aware of our initiative to get WARE up and running,² Mr Fisher said.
Australian Trade Commission representative Trevor Knowles addressed the meeting regarding two trade shows in North America next year which Austrade was promoting to encourage Australian manufacturers to attend.
But after an enthusiastic address Mr Knowles was told by WARM that the trade shows were located in the wrong areas, one in Toronto and one in San Francisco.
³Aren¹t we wasting out time promoting our products in Toronto and San Franscisco?,² WARM executive director Sandy Lewis said.
³We¹re mainly broadacre farming in WA.
³It would be better for Austrade to get involved in trade shows that are closer to those markets and it should have an office in Regina, (Saskatchewan where the main agricultural show is held every year).²
The sentiment by WARM members clearly is one of disillusionment with Austrade and probably the main reason why the association is pushing to establishing WARE.