A trade mission to Asia not only highlighted new opportunities to increase trade, but also cemented the fact that Tasmania’s products are regarded world-class.
Primary Industries minister Sarah Courtney led the agriculture leg of the state government’s trade mission to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing alongside more than 20 Tasmanian business and industry representatives.
Roberts’ wool manager Stewart Raine said there was a big focus on Tasmanian fiber.
“A lot of our Chinese counterparts have been participating in the wool industry now for about 50 years,” he said.
“So the outcomes [of the trade mission] for Tasmanian wool are that it will certainly boost demand, but also continuing the education of our clients about those unique qualities of Tasmanian grown wool.
“Our wool is renowned throughout the world for its high quality and all those great attributes it possesses.”
Mr Raine said it was important for both their processing partners and the consumer to understand where and when the fiber had been produced, and it’s story “from sheep to shop”.
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“We’re working very hard to continue build that demand, and also to promote the fiber to the world,” he said.
Ms Courtney said a highlight of the trip was a visit to the Red Sun Woollen Mill near Shanghai.
“It was wonderful to see, in China, wool produced from a farm near Ross,” she said.
“We know the brand of Tasmania is incredibly important, and that brand associated with our very high quality merino wool is being processed in China to be sold to high-end fashion across the world.”
Alongside wool, Ms Courtney said other Tasmanian products such as fruit, seafood, red meat, dairy, wine, and whiskey were also highly sought after in Asian markets.
“These types of trade missions play a really important role. They are strategic, they help develop long-term relationships, and they ensure that businesses here in Tasmania have markets to be able to sell our high-quality produce.”
She was confident strong export growth would continue in the agriculture sector.