THE opportunity for the Australian grains industry to increase its share in China and North Asia due to its reputation as a quality supplier was a key theme at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) events in Hong Kong and Singapore this week.
In opening the Singapore event, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Phillip Green, said that focusing on Asian markets will bring great dividends.
Mr Green told the meeting that the Asian customer had enormous buying power and congratulated the Australian industry on engaging with its customers through forums such as AGIC.
He highlighted the need to understand that what the consumer wants at the supermarket checkout is changing rapidly.
Delegates at the earlier Hong Kong event heard from a number of speakers, including James Campbell from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) who said now is the time to be a quality supplier.
He spoke about the industrialisation of the food and feed processing sectors in China, which is supporting the demand for consistent supply of quality grain.
Ron Storey from Australian Crop Forecasters noted that Australian farmers were producing more tonnes from less rainfall and that this was underpinning security of supply for customers.
He also noted the Australian industry had the ability to service a more customised market and that this required better dialogue between suppliers and customers.
Executive director of the Australian Oilseeds Federation, Nick Goddard, told delegates that China was now Australia’s number one export destination for Australian canola. This position is based around Australian canola's characteristics of clean, safe, certified sustainable, segregated non-GM and reliable supply.
Mitch Morison, Injekta Field Systems' managing director, told Australian customers that the Australian supply chain understood the challenge of meeting the changing nature of customer requirements from a supply chain perspective, and that investment was occurring to deliver this.
AGIC Hong Kong conference organiser Rosemary Richards said that AGIC’s first step into the northern Asian market had been very successful, building on the expansion of the conference into South East Asia that started last year.
“AGIC Asia is a great opportunity to showcase the Australian grains industry and the feedback from customers is that they value the opportunity to hear directly from the Australian industry,” she said.
“The conference also provided a great opportunity for the Australian industry to hear from customers, which will help ensure that the Australian grains industry can continue to be a leading supplier to the Asian market and take advantage of the ever growing expansion opportunities in the Asian region.”
The AGIC Singapore conference also heard from major Australian grain marketers and handlers CBH and GrainCorp, who presented 2014-15 crop data by region.
This showed that growers were responding to end-user market signals by choosing newer wheat and barley varieties that better met market requirements.
For further information download the proceedings from the AGIC 2015 website.