‘There are regulations for everything.’ Craig Salkeld, Managing Director at Tetra Pak Oceania. When it comes to international trade and especially with certain countries with variable import procedures such as China, it may not be as simple as checking the specifications, shipping your product and hoping for the best.
‘For trade with China, it might as well be multiple countries that you’re dealing with.’ Craig’s years of experience suggest a valuable strategy in combating the changing regulations and procedures in some countries is to form partnerships with people on the ground in those countries. These partnerships, whether it be an agent, importer, distributor etc can be used to check your products on the ground in the country where they arrive before they hit the shelves.
Of course, engaging in such partnerships will affect your margins, and that is a consideration. However, Craig says that these partnerships can be more beneficial in the long term because a local contact can help to protect your IP much better than you ever could from afar. ‘It’s very difficult to protect your IP in a foreign country,’ he said.
‘Having knowledgeable partners is paramount, so try to get ahead of all the specifications before you have terrible shipments where you lose product along the way. The more things you know, the less the loss will be.’
These are just some of the insights garnered from our recent Food and Beverage Exporters Forum at the Sydney Fine Food Fair. To learn more, contact us at www.exportconnect.com.au