A deal involving up to $100 million worth of South Australian crayfish and tuna will be on the table when a trade delegation leaves Adelaide for China today.
HT Southern, the Australian subsidiary of a multi-million dollar Chinese-owned food corporation, is to commence trading this week and plans to purchase the crayfish and tuna in the next 12 months.
“We have a growing international reputation for premium food and wine and now’s the time to translate that into firm export orders,” Shadow Primary Industries Minister David Ridgway said.
Mr Ridgway will lead the delegation of South Australian winemakers to Wuhan, the largest city and the political, economic, financial and cultural center of central China.
The Liberals’ Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Jing Lee, will accompany the delegation.
With an extensive international trade and a rich multicultural background, the China Global Public Procurement Forum in Wuhan was brought to Ms Lee’s attention by Niu Xiaoqian, director of the South Australian Wineries Group Pty Ltd China.
“When Mr Niu informed me that he was able to secure an exhibition space in Wuhan exclusively to showcase South Australian wines, I presented the opportunity to my colleagues and am very pleased that David Ridgway is leading the delegation,” Ms Lee said.
South Australia will be well represented at a global public procurement forum in Wuhan, where Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and the Coonawarra wines will be showcased in a city with more than 10 million potential customers.
The Hubei Government will host Thursday’s Welcome Dinner in Wuhan. Forty journalists from different media companies will join the media exchange meeting hosted by Chen Zhihua, the Deputy Head of the Department of Commerce on Friday, with the South Australian Wine Expo is being held that evening at Hongshan Stadium.
“Food and wine always go hand in hand so I introduced celebrity Chef Cheong Liew to join the trade delegation,” Ms Lee said.
“Having a chef with Cheong’s fusion culinary skills travelling to China with us is a great kudos.
“Cheong will no doubt impress our Chinese hosts when he prepares an exemplary South Australian delegation dinner on Saturday night for our Chinese hosts.”
From Central China, the delegation will travel to Beijing, Shanghai – where Tomich Wines will open the first cellar door by a South Australian winery in China.
In Beijing Mr Ridgway will meet clients of Elders Fine Foods, which supplies premium Australian produce including beef, lamb, fish and other seafood, condiments, wine and Coopers beer to China, and in Guangzhou Mr Ridgway will hold talks with the owners of HT Southern regarding seafood exports.
“This is a remarkable opportunity,” Mr Ridgway said.
“Elders’ Chinese customers rely on Elders state-of-the-art warehousing, refrigerated transport and logistics – which is exactly what we need to get South Australian produce to international markets.”
Mr Ridgway said the Liberal Party was committed to increasing South Australian food and wine exports.
“We need to be on the front foot to make the most of these emerging opportunities,” Mr Ridgway said.