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Aspiring CQ Exporters To Broaden Horizons

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CAPTION: Export Ready program participants came from across the Central Highlands – from Clermont to Rolleston.

A comprehensive program has given seven Central Queensland agricultural businesses the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop and expand their trade overseas.

The Export Ready: 2019 International Trade Program has been completed in the Central Highlands to upskill aspiring agribusiness exporters at every stage of their development, from pre-export to entering new markets.

Undertaken over five months, the initiative was delivered by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and the Export Council of Australia (ECA), with funding from the Australian Government Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP).

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from participants, who included producers and supply chain members. Most of them have a clear focus and interest in containerised grains exports, developing skills and knowledge to disrupt current supply chain logistics, and examining opportunities to better utilise Central and Northern Queensland’s Ports of Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville.

“We were very lucky to have had two experienced exporters come to the Central Highlands to teach us the ins and outs of how export works,” Goldstar Commodities’ Jean Cottam says.

“They took us through a practical, step-by-step process, highlighting issues that may arise, through sharing their experiences from exporting to various countries.”

Belinda Coetzee, who studied and worked in South Africa’s export field before moving to Emerald, appreciated the opportunity to learn about Australia’s export environment.

“I have been out of exporting for 10 years and this was an eye opener for me,” she says.

“Not only did this workshop series update me on the latest procedures in export marketing and documentation, it has shown me how much technology in the field has advanced over the years."

The training was delivered by leading international trade specialists including Diane Tipping, ECA Chair and Paul Cooper, Chair of the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre.

“Both presenters did an excellent job of communicating the importance of the various stages involved in exporting and guiding us to become the next Central Highlands exporters,” Ms Coetzee says.

CHDC Agribusiness Development Coordinator Liz Alexander is pleased that CHDC has taken the lead to proactively help SMEs navigate the complexities and opportunities of global business.

“Exporting can be complex and involves risk, however producers are becoming increasingly confident in their ability to secure better premiums by having greater involvement in the export process.

“CHDC and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are working together to provide more tailored support over the next year, which builds on the capability and interest in the region.”

Find more about Export Ready and other agribusiness information at

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