Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe, Director Sustainable Development Geraldine Christou, Economic Development Project Officer, Rohan Sali and local orchardist Peter Hall travelled to China, Hong Kong and Jakarta on 28 August and returned on 8 September having visited several government representatives, business operators and attended Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong.
Cr O’Keeffe said the trip “provided the opportunity to build strong international relationships and showcase Greater Shepparton and the opportunities we can offer in investment, export and also lifestyle.”
Cr O’Keeffe said the visit was crucial to develop supportive relationships face to face. “To be competitive in attracting trade with these countries you need to be there and meet with people,” said Cr O’Keeffe. “There were a lot of honest conversations and respect between all parties we met with, especially at Fruit Logistica.”
Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong is Asia’s leading trade show for the international fresh fruit and vegetable business where supply chain meet face to face to make contacts and do business.
“Goulburn Valley growers at the event were most appreciative of Council’s involvement, we were the only local government organisation there with our own stall representing Greater Shepparton as the fruit capital of Australia,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
“We were very well received and were able to provide a whole new level of exposure for our region under the Great Things Happen Here banner. We have a powerful story as the food bowl of Australia. Our aim is to increase the amount we can export to Asia from Greater Shepparton,” said Cr O’Keeffe. “There are opportunities there for growers and Council supports efforts to increase export trade..”
“Our orchardists are a leading factor in the economic development of our region and Council will look at strategies of increasing the opportunities for more growers to be involved in Fruit Logistica,” said Director Sustainable Development Geraldine Christou.
“We want our growers to be front and centre of future exposure to Asia’s biggest trade show for fresh fruit,” she said.
Council met with AusTrade, Business Victoria, Changzhou Institute of Technology, Jintan District, Invest Hong Kong, CV Cherry Fruit & PT Corona Prajitna, Gunung Sewu Group, SHB Group and the Victorian Government Business Office in Indonesia, as well as attending three days at the Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong.