Who says that you have to Get Bigger or Get Out?

It doesn’t matter what size it is, your farm is an ever increasing asset, even more so if you can provide clean, green food.

Australian conventional food prices are forecast to quadruple in price over the next five years. The reason is Asia. We are in the middle of a global revolution in the way we think, eat and live.

This week I received this news from Craig Sobey who has recently toured China with representatives from five city councils, Austrade and Regional Development Victoria and reports that there is a real opportunity for all to take a significant market share in this period.

Basically, if it is Australian and premium quality there is a ready market. Australia is seen as a source of safe food regardless of whether it is organic or conventional. At this stage price does not appear in the conversation, just consistent supply and traceability. The interest in all products represented included convenience food packages (pre-cooked), meats, dairy, wines etc.

Did You Know?
• There are over 350 million middle class and a niche market of super wealthy Chinese
• China creates 80,000 millionaires each year.
• There is a farmer’s co-op representative with over five million members.
• This co-op now owns China’s fifth biggest supermarket chain with over 500,000 stores.
• 6,000 of them over 30,000 sq metres. The supermarket turned over 18 billion dollars in 2007 with revenues growing by 150 % per annum on average.
• They have offered an entire Australian Pavilion for Aussie produce including organics in their premiere stores in Beijing and Shanghai. Organic Wines were the big attraction. (Craig told me that French wine is selling as much as $600 a bottle and even one watermelon cost $40!)

However there is real interest in China for organics (which they refer to as Green Food) and particularly food safety/ traceability which is the paramount concern for all serious buyers they met. A new Australian wide network (not for profit) company is being formed for all sections of the organic market. This is so that a pool of members can tackle the export markets together. Its goal is to give you an export premium to help make membership very appealing.

The time is ripe for all growers to stop and think about the future of their farming. What choice will you make? Your future will depend on it. Even if all of Australia’s certified organic farmers, processors etc. were to unite they could not supply the market in China alone and therefore there is untapped potential over the next ten to twenty years to be further developed.

Will you be part of this movement? Go to www.puralia.com.au for more information.

Farming Secrets are aligned to helping all farmers discover just how simple it can be to take the first steps for change to farming without synthetic chemicals while still remaining profitable.