Meet the local businesses going global
THE Emerging Exporters Program works to educate, enlighten and mentor agribusinesses based in the Western Downs and Surat Basin.
Leading experts will be guiding the new cohort to develop trading opportunities and chances to network with other like-minded business women and men.
Shell QGC Operations Manager Angus Hetherington said community demand and the need for a rock-solid economy is what inspired the program.
"The community said to us that they wanted a community with a very strong economy,” he said.
"Agribusiness is really at the heart of that economy. We want to do something meaningful that supports that.
"This program supports that economic development by helping agribusiness open new markets, both domestically and abroad.
"It's a recognition that agriculture is a mainstay of the region's economy.”
Thursday night's proceedings included a hearty congratulations to the 2018 cohort of emerging exporters, and an enthusiastic welcome to the new group of rising exporters looking for a leg up in their respective industries.
Among the list of new exporters with a willingness to learn and grow their businesses are Mr O'Brien and his team at DOM Distribution from Dalby, the McMahon family from Haven Farming in Chinchilla, Four Daughters, Sandalwood Feedlot, Chinchira Super Reds, Hoofprints of Change, Busy Beed, Riverbend Marketing, Aussie Pork Suppliers, Aussie Land and Livestock and Carpendale Commodities.
DOM Distribution - Dalby:
Pat O'Brien and his team at DOM Distribution are interested in being mentored when it comes to their competency in dealing with overseas customers and changing compliance regulations.
"It just gives a bit of extra unified support,” Mr O'Brien said.
"We're also looking to help grow our professionalism and our competency to comply with our changing governing rules from our overseas compliers.
"The rules change with every shipment that we do, so it's just getting more professional at complying with that, but also trying to do it and not lose our nimbleness and being able to adapt quickly.
"That's the biggest challenge, is trying to stay nimble but keeping professional and ahead of the changing compliance laws.”
Busy Beef - Dalby:
What started as a passion project for Dalby's Jilly Tyler is on its way to becoming an internationally renowned exporter, unique in its field and ready to compete.
Mrs Tyler said being a part of the Emerging Exporter Program was an opportunity to learn and gain a better understanding of the industry she was entering.
"A big part of why I wanted to be a part of the Emerging Exporters Program was, as much as anything, to gain a broader understanding of export,” she said.
"Being in the beef industry, I've worked in the industry a long time and a lot of our product has been exported overseas - we haven't been involved in that process.”
Mrs Tyler hopes to expand Busy Beef to the point that it benefits a much wider community beyond her own business and employees.
"It's not just about Busy Beef and Jilly, it's about how can this be a community where manymembers in the community can potentially benefit from the program,” she said.
Haven Farming - Chinchilla:
Louise McMahon from Haven Farming has been in agribusiness for over 10 years.
What started out as a hobby farm sparked from a love of farming and agriculture became a fully established family business, based in Chinchilla.
Mrs McMahon hopes the program will help Haven Farming build a profitable model that will appeal to overseas markets.
"To be part of the ag industry, which is obviously has so much history in the Australian economy, and then be able to group that with some of the amazing opportunities that this program is going to provide in terms of networking and mentoring with the absolutely leading edge in information and technology and industry experts... is great,” she said.
"It will certainly implement change and educate ourselves in what the future is for ag and what are the consumer demands domestically and globally, and what the trends that are going to be in place in the next five or 10 years and actually be able to react to those demands.”
The new cohort will spend the next 12 months collaborating with people leading the way in agribusiness, who will help them grow their businesses.