In this series, we get a sneak peek into the perspectives of Australian organic manufacturers and producers on the state of export for this sector. Declan Dart, Managing Director of Trumps, a third-generation Australian-owned business, shares his thoughts with us in this exclusive interview.
Do you believe there are significant differences in exporting organic products from non-organic products?
Yes, absolutely. One that everyone is aware of is China, with regard to certification and on-shelf presence. The answer that most people are using today – cross-borders – is tricky. Obviously, Australia has strong certification bodies, but acceptance in certain countries is not reciprocal. It can create a whole lot of issues, even getting your brand trademarked in other countries. We’ve tried to trademark our brand ‘MyOrganics’ in China, for example, and because it has the word “organic” in it they won’t allow it.
What about the opportunities?
Australia as a country is very well placed. We have very, very tight controls of goods coming in, which has protected our ecosystem and enables us to produce clean and green products. That is also certainly the perception from around the world, and specifically the Asian-Pacific region. This presents a great opportunity for us as a country to grow in that export market, especially in organics. China is again one of the best examples, because everyone knows about the issues inherent in dealing in that market. They don’t always trust even their own locally-produced foods. What organic foods from Australia provide is exactly the trust they’re looking for; that ability to trust the food in front of them.
What are you most excited about with the upcoming Singapore and Hong Kong markets tour?
We’re excited to see doors open, to look at opportunities seriously, get in front of the right people, and hopefully develop more business from it. Certainly, we understand that export growth is not an overnight scenario, and what we’re really hoping for is just to start those relationships with the right businesses. We’d also like to understand more about the right channels to get our products into those markets. You hear stories about distributors, partners, importers – and we’re all trying to understand the best way to get our product on the shelves in these countries.
And finally, what do you like most about travelling in a group?
Especially with something like the Singapore and Hong Kong in-market tour, it’s a group of like-minded people. Within the Australian market, some of us will be competitive, some of us won’t. But at the end of the day, we’re all in it to try to grow the Australian export market.
I’m sure it’ll be a fun trip, but it’ll also be an opportunity to develop those relationships – not only with customers or potential customers – but also within the industry itself.
As a business, we’ve often put export in the “too hard” basket, but we’ve finally made the commitment to pursue the opportunity. And while we understand it’s going to be a long-term project, we’re excited about the returns it may bring!
To hear more from Trumps’ experiences on the Singapore and Hong Kong market tour, join us at our Market Insights Forum in Melbourne on 10 September. Learn more here.
Image by Helloquence on Unsplash