E-catalogue links Australian exporters with Asian buyers

Monday, 20 October, 2014

Hoping to expand into Asia? Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) has launched an interactive e-catalogue that links Australian food and beverage suppliers with overseas buyers.

A government-funded industry initiative, the tool was developed in response to frustration expressed by both Australian producers and international buyers about the industry’s past methods of fostering international relationships.

More than 350 Australian suppliers are already listed in the e-catalogue, including major brands such as Arnott’s, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Weis. FIAL is calling on all Australian food and beverage producers interested in exporting to register.

The e-catalogue utilises a rating system that allows buyers to rate suppliers on their unique selling proposition, product range and company website. This gives suppliers information about why their business may or may not appeal to international buyers.

According to Najib Lawand, FIAL general manager market development, the benefits of buyer feedback are invaluable and could help remove the barriers many Australian suppliers face when initiating their export business.

“Buyer feedback helps our producers improve their ability to sell products in international markets and understand exactly what buyers, particularly in key export markets throughout Asia and the Middle East, are looking for,” said Lawand.

“Often our suppliers don’t understand why overseas buyers aren’t interested in working with them, and it could often be something as simple as improving their website that helps change that. Through the e-catalogue, FIAL wants to provide the mechanism that will help Australia’s suppliers grow their markets internationally, and also help Australia appear more attractive to overseas buyers.

“Increasing interest in our food and beverage industry from high-end Asian and Middle Eastern supermarket buyers means now is the time to make the connecting process between them and our suppliers as seamless as possible.”

The e-catalogue covers 24 industry categories ranging from dairy, meat and livestock to fruit and vegetables, chocolate and confectionery, nuts and seeds - and even pet food.

In future, the e-catalogue will be developed to include online training resources and tutorials and help suppliers identify and sell their unique offer, prepare presentations, demystify free trade agreements and create engaging website. The e-catalogue will also be optimised for mobile devices for easy access while travelling, including translation services for Chinese, Japanese and Korean buyers, and offer detailed reporting on buyer behaviour.

For more information or to register with FIAL’s e-catalogue, visit www.fial.com.au/ecatalogue.

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