HONG KONG, CHINA — The opportunity for the Australian grains industry to increase share in North Asia/China due to its reputation as a quality supplier was a key theme at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) event in Hong Kong, China, on March 11.

In opening the conference, Paul Tighe, Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau, highlighted the growth occurring in North Asia, noting that China will account for one half of global growth in food demand in the period to 2050.  He said the Australian grains industry is well positioned to take advantage of this demand growth. 

Grain Trade Australia Chair Peter Reading noted the importance the Australian grains industry holds in the region, reflected by the presence of the Consul-General. He thanked the Australian government for their support of the AGIC Asia events and welcomed their participation in both the Singapore and Hong Kong events. 

Delegates heard from a number of speakers throughout the day, including James Campbell from ANZ who said now is the time to be a quality supplier. He spoke about the industrialization of the food and feed processing sectors in China which is supporting the demand for consistent supply of quality grain.

Ron Storey from Australian Crop Forecasters noted that Australian farmers were producing more tonnes from less rainfall and that this was underpinning security of supply for customers. Storey noted that the Australian industry had the ability to service a more customized market and that this required better dialogue between suppliers and customers.

Executive Director of the Australian Oilseeds Federation Nick Goddard told delegates that China was now Australia’s No.1 export destination for Australian canola. This position is based around Australian canola characteristics of clean, safe, certified sustainable, segregated non-GM and reliable supply.

Mitch Morison, Injekta Field Systems managing director, told Australian customers that the Australian supply chain understood the challenge of meeting the changing nature of customer requirements from a supply chain perspective and that investment was occurring to deliver this.

Rosemary Richards, conference organizer, said that AGIC’s first step into the northern Asian market had been very successful, building on the expansion of the conference into South East Asia that started last year and continued with an event in Singapore on March 9. 

“AGIC Asia is a great opportunity to showcase the Australian grains industry and the feedback from customers is that they value the opportunity to hear directly from the Australian industry,” she said. “The conference also provided a great opportunity for the Australian industry to hear from customers, which will help ensure that the Australian grains industry can continue to be a leading supplier to the Asian market and take advantage of the ever growing expansion opportunities in the Asian region.”

Visit www.ausgrainsconf.com/asia to download the proceedings from AGIC 2015 Hong Kong.