AUSTRALIAN horticulture will ramp up its presence at one of the world's largest horticulture trade shows this year as a contingent prepares to head to Asia Fruit Logistica in September.
Producers and industry representatives will board a Qantas B747-400 at the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport on September 3 as part of the Access Hong Kong trip.
Trip participants will take part in a major conference, industry and site tours.
The Access Hong Kong delegation is organised by Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) and Food Leaders Australia (FLA) and marks the first international passenger flight direct from Wellcamp airport to Hong Kong, and just the second international passenger flight to leave the airport.
The two groups hosted a similar trip last year, known as AccessChina'16, in order to highlight the problems and solutions around tariff barriers and export into the China market under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
TSBE executive chairman, Shane Charles, said a strong contingent of producers had signed back up for Access Hong Kong after joining last year's delegation.
"What our wider region now offers in terms of produce is remarkable. The Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley regions are some of the largest and most diverse areas for agricultural production," he said.
"With a weekly freight flight from Toowoomba to Hong Kong, our region's products are now packed and shipped direct to the Asian market.
"This trip is a great opportunity to close the export loop and see what happens to Australian products that fly into Hong Kong each week as well as look to financing options."
Agriculture companies and associations that will join Access Hong Kong include Story Fresh, Downs Farm Fresh, Sunnyspot packhouse, Merivale Farms, Bassett Barks, Dandarragan Farms, Brookstead Farming Company, Kialla Pure Foods, Steve Keating, NAB Agribusiness and PB Agrifood.
There are plans for delegates to go across the border into Shenzhen, China for a behind-the-scenes experience at a range of innovative companies as part of the site tour schedule.
Toowoomba Regional Council mayor, Paul Antonio, will also take part in the trip in order to seek out trade opportunities for his area.
“As a region, we punch well above our weight in agricultural production and food processing, in education, in medical care, and as we look to increase our tourism market, we are in a remarkable position to take our offering to the world,” Mr Antonio said.
“With Hong Kong as Asia’s world city and a hub for international business, trade, tourism and investment, Access Hong Kong is a remarkable opportunity for producers and business people in our region to further connect with the Asian market and to establish relationships that will benefit our regional economy for many years to come."
Queensland beef, grain and sheep representative group, AgForce, will also be part of the tour.
AgForce general president, Grant Maudsley, who will be part of the delegation with the support of IOR Petroleum, said the trip provides an opportunity for agricultural representatives and businesses to grow their understanding of the Asian market, to connect with potential customers and to develop relationships with other delegates.
Tickets for Access Hong Kong close on July 31, and can be booked through tsbe.com.au/AccessHongKong.
Trade show in sight
ORGANISERS of Asia Fruit Logistica have reported an increase in bookings for exhibition space by 25 per cent on last year’s total.
More than 11,000 top-level buyers and trade professionals from across 70 countries are expected to attend.
"Exhibitor participation from China – traditionally the largest single exhibiting country at Asia Fruit Logistica – is up sharply, with the Chinese pavilion expanding by some 90pc on last year’s event," a statement from the organisation said.
Among the many debut exhibitors taking part this year are pioneering Chinese e-commerce company, MissFresh, and world-leading port operator, Hutchison Ports.
Colombia, Jordan and Ukraine are all exhibiting for the first time, while European fresh produce suppliers will be ramping up their presence with a range of promotional campaigns.
This year's event will see two different Hall Forums, with a business forum providing daily workshops with practical ideas and solutions for better fresh produce marketing.
Meanwhile, the second Hall Forum turns the spotlight on the worlds of hi-tech and logistics.
Flight to Hong Kong just $650
TOOWOOMBA and Surat Basin Enterprise is encouraging tourists, jetsetters and business people to make the most of the opportunity to fly to Hong Kong for $650.
The flight from Wellcamp Airport to Hong Kong is part of the September 3-7 Access Hong Kong trip in September.
TSBE executive chairman, Shane Charles, said the one-way flights from Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport to Hong Kong would highlight the region’s tourism and connectivity possibilities.
“Five years ago we could only dream of flying internationally from Toowoomba, now with the second international passenger flight, this really is the next milestone for the region and a way to open up our links to the world,” Mr Charles said.
“We are offering those wanting to be part of the journey a chance to join us, and see Hong Kong your way.
“What our region now offers is remarkable, and we want people to pack their bags and join us on the journey.
“The flight is also an extended opportunity to network and meet with a wide range of industries from construction to agriculture, councils, developers and finance and services sectors.”
The latest program has been released and TSBE and Food Leaders Australia are updating the program all the time to give greater value to our delegates.
For more information, or to book, visit: tsbe.com.au/AccessHongKong
- Fairfax Media national horticulture reporter, Ashley Walmsley, will take part in the tour, providing social media updates and coverage for the various agriculture publications.