• Panelists shared their insights at the Export Connect event.
    Panelists shared their insights at the Export Connect event.

More than 100 budding exporters packed out The Food & Beverage Exporters Forum yesterday to hear from a panel of seasoned food and beverage execs.

Panelists from Snackbrands Australia, McCains, Cerebos, Morelife, SalDoce Fine Foods and Tetra Pak shared their export experience at the event, which was held at ICC Sydney alongside Fine Food Australia.

Topics covered included selecting markets, building market entry strategies, connecting with buyers and partners, managing regulatory hurdles and more.

Howard Hurwitz, head of export – ANZ at Cerebos advised attendees to look for "low hanging" export opportunities, such as New Zealand and some Pacific Island countries.

“We do a lot of exports to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, to French Polynesia, and to Micronesia. These are easier markets to access [from a tariff perspective]... along with Singapore and Hong Kong which both have very big expat populations.”

Cheryl Stewart, export and business manager of healthfood company Morelife, warned businesses that their Australian ingredients may not be compliant in other markets.

“We struggle a lot with the import regulations... one of the reason is that a lot of our products have added amino acids, herbs, vitamins and things like that,” she said. “While these are compliant in the Australian food market under FSANZ, as you go offshore, they may be deemed as dietary supplements.”

Forging the right partnerships was also covered indepth by the panel, which was moderated by Export Connect director Najib Lawand.

Ticket sales from the event raised more than $2,000 for Foodbank Australia.

You'll find more Food & Beverage Exporters Forum highlights in the October issue of Food & Drink Business.