Growers explore international opportunities for local produce

Farmers will hear from export industry leaders when they gather at Burdekin Theatre in Ayr next week to learn more about taking their locally-grown produce to the world.

The Burdekin Export Forum this 4 May aims to get growers from the Burdekin and North Queensland region thinking about opportunities to export into lucrative international markets and is currently open for registration.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said an impressive program of speakers had been confirmed, including Regional Director of Enterprise Singapore, Timothy Chua, who would provide farmers with international insights into the Singaporean market.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Mr Chua joining us for next week’s Burdekin Export Forum, where he will present a session on the gateway to Asia, Singapore,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our growers, as Enterprise Singapore is the official government agency championing enterprise development and working with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise.”

Participants will also hear from Export Council of Australia Chair Dianne Tipping, who will provide growers with information needed to progress to being export ready.

Cr McLaughlin said Ms Tipping had a background in international trade promotion and facilitation, specialising in building the capacity of companies to grow internationally.

“The Export Council of Australia encourages, educates and assists Australian companies to take on the world,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“In addition to hearing from top industry and government officials, we will be presenting a series of case studies, giving farmers already exporting their produce into international markets a platform to share their experiences and insights with the audience,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This includes a presentation by Kees Versteeg from south east Queensland farming enterprise Qualipac, who will share his journey to export with the audience and provide practical insights into doing business internationally.”

Cr McLaughlin said more than a dozen speakers, represented from across government, transport, business and agriculture were confirmed for the Forum and would provide growers with information on emerging markets, international opportunities and supply chains.

“The event has been scheduled prior to the commencement of the harvest of crops to equip farmers and horticultural producers with all the latest information to assist them to diversify, expand and discover new opportunities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The Burdekin Export Forum will be held at Burdekin Theatre from 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday 4 May. Cost is $40 per person.

To register or for more information please contact Eliza Lovell or Lucy Poppi by phone (07) 4783 9800, email, or visit

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