16/04/2008 - 22:00

Tastes of WA in South-East Asia

16/04/2008 - 22:00


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Azzura Gelati is one of 10 growing Western Australian businesses set to showcase its products at the Food and Hotel Asia 2008 trade event, to be held in Singapore from April 22-25.

Tastes of WA in South-East Asia

Azzura Gelati is one of 10 growing Western Australian businesses set to showcase its products at the Food and Hotel Asia 2008 trade event, to be held in Singapore from April 22-25.

The O’Connor-based dessert maker will join Golden Egg Farms, Bayswater winemaker Wescobee Wines, beef producer Harvey Beef, and a record number of Australian exhibitors at the Austrade-organised Australian National Pavilion.

Other WA businesses heading over to show off their wares include Margaret River Premium Meats, juice maker Harvey Fresh, and confectionery manufacturer Golden Boronia.

FHA is South-East Asia’s biggest food and hospitality trade event, attracting hundreds of food and beverage producers and service providers from around the world.

South-East Asia is a strong export market for WA producers and the four-day event is expected to provide opportunities to further develop trade into the region.

Australia’s food and beverage exports to the 10 ASEAN member countries are worth an estimated $3.7 billion.

This year, to enhance prospects for WA and Australian exhibitors, Austrade will bring 213 buyers from other high-growth Asian markets, including China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

It’s a promising move, according to Azzura Gelati co-founder Rey Odorisio, who said a decision to attend the biennial FHA trade show was made about 10 years ago when her husband, Nick, decided to grow the company.

“It’s quite a good way to promote our state and to get out there to promote some of our products,” Mrs Odorisio said.

“So when we go next week we’ll actually showcase some of our new products, we’ll get to talk to different people and we’ll see our end users, which is very important.”

WA-owned Azzura Gelati, established in 1986, will use FHA to source new importers and distributors for its range of award-winning ice creams, sorbets and frozen desserts. Mrs Odorisio said it was an ideal platform for small businesses looking to penetrate more challenging markets.

“We’re going beyond Singapore,” she said, adding that 10 per cent of the company’s produce is exported to South-East Asia.

Mrs Odorisio said the company has started looking at opportunities in Dubai and Jakarta, and was currently researching the viability of those markets.

Mr Odorisio and his team had more than 100 years of combined experience in producing fine Italian ice cream and designer desserts, and the business would use its status as a certified maker of halal and kosher products as a selling point to industry dignitaries at FHA.

Palmyra-based Golden Egg Farms has been attending FHA for about 15 years and will return this year to showcase its goods.

CEO Phil Steel said the “massive exhibition” would allow the predominantly domestic company to network with buyers from as far away as Israel, South Africa and Italy.

“Our product is pretty universal,” he told WA Business News.

“There aren’t really too many barriers for us in selling it elsewhere.

“We’re not trying to sell some newfangled widget, so it [FHA] has always been beneficial to us.”

Austrade has been promoting Australian food and beverage exports for many years, with the FHA show in 2006 attracting almost 37,000 visitors, including 2,230 exhibitors from 70 countries, and 50 buyer delegations from 33 countries.

Austrade’s Singapore-based senior trade commissioner Maurine Lam said with companies such as Azzura Gelati and Golden Egg Farms putting the latest trends in the food and hospitality industry on show next week, global competitors will be out “all vying for market share”.

“The event offers Australian exhibitors a great opportunity to connect directly with top buyers and importers from South-East Asia and beyond,” she said.

Austrade’s regional director for South-East Asia, David Twine, agreed, saying FHA was an important part in the agency’s strategy to boost homegrown food and beverage exports to key South-East Asian markets, which was currently worth five times that of exports to China.

“The region’s affluent middle class with its increasingly cosmopolitan tastes is helping drive consumer spending, creating diverse and expanding opportunities for Australian businesses,” Mr Twine said.


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