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Taste Australia – A culinary venture to the land down under
December 7, 2017, 5:06 pm

Australia, often referred to as a land of boundless opportunity and endless potential, once again surpassed all expectations with an exhibition of premium Australian food and beverage products at the Taste Australia event at the Radisson Blu Hotel on 6 December.

Australia, which takes immense pride in its premium, high quality and sustainable food products, is increasingly impacting the global food and beverage industry with a variety of fresh, alluring and uniquely diverse range of products.

In recent years, a growing appeal for Australian products in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market has resulted in a huge demand for the country’s food products and this has helped increase momentum around the premium food and beverage industry in Australia.

In light of this, industry associations that included the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Dairy Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia, collaborated with the State Government of Victoria and Austrade MENA to organize the Taste Australia event in Kuwait. The event was focused on significantly raising the profile of premium food and beverage from Australia.

The Ambassador of Australia to Kuwait His Excellency Warren Hauck enlightened attendees on the quality of Australian produce and its scope in Middle Eastern markets. The focus of the event was on further promoting the successful bilateral trade and cultural ties that exist between Australia and Kuwait, as well as increasing demand for premium Australian food and beverage in the country.  “During my three years in Kuwait, I have really noticed that there is an appetite for premium, clean and green products – food that is good for consumers. Coming from Australia, that is what we specialise in, and we are really proud of it,” said the ambassador.

He also highlighted that the Middle East region is an important export market for the Australian dairy industry. “In the last year alone, Australia exported over 41,000 tonnes of dairy products to the region, worth a total of nearly AUD$159 million,” he clarified.

Noting that the MENA market is also Australia’s largest export region for sheep meat, the ambassador added, “The combined total of lamb and mutton meat and offal exported in 2016 to the region is valued at almost AUD$700 million. Similarly, Australian beef, veal and offal exports to the region have also seen growth, especially in high value items such as grain fed beef, Angus and Wagyu products totaling a value of over AUD$300 million in 2016. With a combined value of just over AUD$1 billion dollars annually, the MENA region represents a significant market and trade partner to the Australian red meat industry.”

He also added that Kuwait is the largest live sheep export market for Australia and is the second largest importer of dairy products. Australian wheat and meat are other key imports in addition to over one thousand Australian product lines that can be found in Kuwait’s supermarkets. With food import sales growth of 8.7 percent in 2016, Kuwait continues to be a strong partner for Australian exports.”

For his part, Jack Hajjar, commercial attaché at the Australian embassy, while welcoming guests and introducing participants in the show, underlined the high quality of Australian products and its growing popularity worldwide. He noted that Kuwait and Australia share a longstanding and substantial two-way trade relation that collectively exceeds a billion dollars annually. He added that the Australian food industry were committed to ensuring a favorable trade environment for Australian suppliers, while at the same time ensuring Middle Eastern consumers would enjoy the high standards of food and beverages produced in Australia.

Visitors to the show had the unique privilege of meeting and interacting with representatives of the Australian food industry and sampling some of the finest Australian F&B products, including a live interactive station manned by no less than the renowned Australian Executive Chef, Tim Hollands.

Also present at the Taste Australia event was Nick Meara, who was recently appointed the International Business Development Manager of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) for Middle East and North Africa. MLA has run an office in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for over 45 years and has been active in creating considerable market growth for Australian red meat over this time. The objective of the organization is to conduct extensive research, development and marketing outcomes that further increase the presence and market share of Australian red meat in the region.

Apart from meat, Australia also exports about a third of its total national milk production, about 90 percent of which go to the Asian and the Middle East markets. Sarah Xu representing the Dairy Australia – national services body for the dairy industry – and in her role as the International Market Manager, said they aim to encourage a favorable international market environment for the Australian dairy exports and build active preference for the Australian dairy products among customers in the key export markets, including MENA. 


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