Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has congratulated Burdekin business Mt Elliot Springs on securing a lucrative export deal into Asia, as the family-owned operation sends its first shipment of bottled natural spring water to China this week.
The high-quality water will be sold to mix with baby formula in 250 child supply and pharmacy stores across China, with at least a million bottles expected to be supplied per year.
Mt Elliot Springs manager Keith Brincat said the export opportunity came about when he was approached by South Australian business consultant Michael Fullgrabe of Ozwater Pty Ltd who with his wife developed the idea to send water for baby formula into China to fill a niche market.
“Ozwater selected us for this opportunity because our water is of an extreme high quality and, critically, meets all of the standards required to pass the Chinese regulations,” Mr Brincat said.
Mt Elliot Springs has already employed an additional five staff to help supply the first shipments of 36,000 bottles, with another five to 10 jobs likely to be created in coming months as a result of the deal. The product has been named My Precious One.
Mr Brincat said the Burdekin was known for its abundance of water but water was also a precious asset.
“It comes down to the geology of the Mt Elliot area, which produces naturally occurring spring water with an unusually high PH level. This natural alkalinity is what makes our water special.
“As it comes out of the ground it has that taste signature of the mountain. It’s all natural without anything added and that’s what natural spring water should be.”
Mr Brincat said finding a point of difference could open big opportunities for small producers.
“If you can find a niche, something you do better than the rest, that’s what you should concentrate on, that’s where the opportunities lie,” he said.
Cr McLaughlin said it was exciting to see a local company exporting into the Chinese market.
She said the Burdekin was home to some wonderful, innovative businesses which were doing exciting things in their fields.
“There are immense opportunities, through the export market, for our businesses to expand their reach into key international markets in Asia and across the world,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“Mt Elliot Springs is an excellent example of a business which is creating products here in the Burdekin while reaching consumers across the globe. I congratulate Mt Elliot Springs on their achievement.”
Cr McLaughlin said water was the Burdekin’s greatest asset.
“It is the lifeblood of our thriving agricultural industries and now, it will be exported directly into China where it is expected to be met with high demand,” Cr McLaughlin said.