QGC, in conjunction with partner Food Leaders Australia (FLA) have launched its new Emerging Exporters Program which gives Western Downs businesses the tools to enter and showcase their local produce to international export markets. The three year program will build on the success of the previous Western Downs, Eastern Opportunities (WEDO) program.

Nine local businesses were announced at the launch of the venture on Friday 1 June as the next successful line-up to be taking part in the dedicated initiative, taking regional produce and processors to international trade markets. These nine are in addition to the previous four local businesses who took part in the WEDO program. The program is a key objective of QGC’s social investment strategy to help local communities diversify their businesses and economy across a range of different industries. It also addresses the demand for trusted, clean and green food to international markets. The nine businesses include Running Gully Meats, Jim’s Jerky, Mohawk International Pty Ltd (Teraform), Maranoa Beef Pty Ltd, Carter Rural Industries, Condabilla Fish Farm, Elliott Agribusiness, Procrew and DF & KJ Knudsen.

FLA’s Export Manager Geraldine Doumany announced the successful businesses at the launch luncheon in Chinchilla. “It gives me great pleasure to officially welcome our nine local businesses, chosen from a range of high calibre candidates, as our first ever Emerging Exporters Program participants,” Ms Doumany said. “Today marks an important milestone for regional Australia as we empower and help local businesses expand their export opportunities to one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Asia.”

QGC Operations Manager Angus Hetherington said the program will give local businesses the education and support needed to enter international markets. “Aiding local producers to diversify their businesses and the local economy makes for more sustainable communities, which is what we are trying to help build,” said Mr Hetherington. “It also makes the region an even greater place to live and work.”

FLA will be releasing videos following the journey of local business as they undertake the Emerging Exporters Program over the next 12 months.

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