A TOOWOOMBA and Surat Basin Enterprise delegation has returned from China with not only a greater understanding of the emerging markets, but also tangible contacts to help form their own business networks.
The group of nine, made up of beef, lamb and grain producers from around the Surat Basin region, spent a week in China, visiting Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Dalian and Hong Kong.
The intensive targeted trade mission included meetings with potential buyers and distributors of protein food products, visits to cattle feedlots and factory visits.
TSBE General Manager-Agribusiness and Export Jo Sheppard led the tour and said the seven days were extremely worthwhile.
"The main aim of the delegation was for the group of lamb, beef and grain producers to get a greater understanding of emerging markets in China and the challenges and opportunities they will face when exporting to China," Ms Sheppard said.
"The attendees had the chance to meet buyers and distributors relevant to products they produce, which in turn, will now help them to build their own long-term relationships to start business to business negotiations.
"With China set to account for nearly half of growth in food demand globally over the coming years, it is critical that we put the hard yards in now to understand this market and establish relevant business relationships.
"Attendees now have a better understanding of the retail and wholesale markets, as well as some of the limitations, for example transport and logistics, cultural differences and cold chain capability."
Goondiwindi's Brett Corish helps to run Corish Farms and was one of the delegation attendees.
It was his first trip to China and one he would recommend to other farmers seeking to get a better understanding of the market and how the industry operates.
"It was very beneficial. While it's still not clear what the exact outcomes will be, it was definitely positive in terms of making contacts and getting a general feeling as to how business is conducted in China," Mr Corish said.
"We have already begun to have further discussions with contacts made, and we will continue going down this path to keep communications on-going. It may lead to further visits if something arises from this."
Other businesses represented on the delegation included Columboola Cotton, Mirloc, Palgrove and Sun Beef.