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Turkey eggs part of new Taiwan business for Aust exporters

07 July, 2008

In an indication of the growing diversity of export opportunities in Taiwan, Rainbow Valley Turkeys from St Arnaud near Horsham Victoria has secured an important deal selling premium turkey eggs to a grower in the south-western Taiwanese city of Jiayi.

The eggs are then hatched and the turkeys bred for their succulent flesh, before arriving at dining tables in the form of signature Taiwanese dishes such as the local delicacy Jiayi ‘Turkey Meat Rice’.
Based on the highest pedigree US breeds, Rainbow Valley Turkeys have invested six years in refining husbandry techniques and facilities to ensure the resulting birds offer premium quality and highly efficient meat yields. The company also fully abides with international and domestic animal welfare standards, with birds enjoying ideal conditions in a natural and wholesome environment.
With the capacity to produce one million eggs per year, current production of around 650,000 eggs has been focused on sales into all Australian states and territories. Rainbow Valley Turkeys owner Chris Prestwood said that after overcoming early hurdles, the deal demonstrated that a significant part of the company’s future lay with the international potential of their product.
“After securing an initial sale, language and cultural differences frustrated the next level of negotiations. We really wanted to spend time with the client to show them how our techniques and genetics could help improve their business model,” Prestwood said.
Prestwood then contacted his local Ballarat Tradestart representative Mark Sutherland, who had previously lived and worked in Taiwan and was able to provide initial practical and cultural advice, before connecting Prestwood to Jennifer Chen, Austrade’s Business Development Manager in Taipei.
“Jennifer assisted us greatly by helping secure the level of client interaction we were looking for. We visited our client’s premises in Taiwan and talked through all the ways we could deliver not just the product itself but our expertise, to really add value to the deal and foster further opportunities to work with the client.
“We have now further expanded our supply to our Taiwanese customers in a deal which could represent 7% of total business by next financial year. The result justifies all the effort we have put into developing the business so far.
“Without Austrade’s support and Jennifer’s skilful guidance during negotiations, not just in overcoming the language barrier, but advice on the cultural dimension of doing business in Taiwan, we never would have achieved this deal,” Prestwood said.
Prestwood has high hopes for the rest of Asia, particularly China and surrounding regions.
“Successful movement into Asia will no doubt lead to further opportunities and an exciting expansion period for the business.
“With 2.5 billion people to our north with a growing desire for protein in their diet in the subcontinent and in Asia, we are very positive that our quality genetics and systems ensuring high-capacity yields will see more Australian-derived turkeys on the menu right across the region,” Prestwood said.
Austrade’s Taipei-based Senior Trade Commissioner Yvonne Chan said Rainbow Valley demonstrated that Australia’s sophisticated food producers could find buyers in Taiwan.
“Two-way trade with Taiwan was over A$10.2 billion last year, and a wide range of Australian business capability is connecting with local consumers and service users, in areas such as food, wine, cosmetics, wellbeing, education, ICT, and biotechnology,” Chan said.
So far in 2007-08, Austrade Taiwan, with the support of TradeStart’s regional network of offices across Australia (including Ballarat), has helped more than 350 companies achieve export deals worth over A$737 million.

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