Chaff to tempt Mid­dle East

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE -

THE Mid­dle East is a fron­tier few North Bur­nett ex­port busi­nesses have ever con­quered.

But it’s one Monto’s Kevin Pur­cell is hop­ing to crack into, when he shows the Seven Horses com­pressed and vac­uum packed chaff at the Al Fares trade ex­hi­bi­tion in Dubai next week

“It will be our in­ten­tion to find a Mid­dle East­ern distrib­u­tor,” wife and business part­ner Naomi Pur­cell said.

“There are a lot of horses and a lot of money spent per horse in the Mid­dle East, so it will be our idea to find one per­son we can ex­port to, and they can then dis­trib­ute through­out the re­gion.”

The horse in­dus­try is an ideal mar­ket for the com­pressed lucerne, be­cause it is more con­ve­nient and lasts longer than con­ven­tion­ally pack­aged hay.

While the Pur­cells have had ex­port mar­kets in­ter­ested in their prod­uct from Mau­ri­tius to Malaysia, they said the Mid­dle East has ideal con­di­tions for them to trade with.

“For starters, they are used to im­port­ing. Con­di­tions are not good for grow­ing qual­ity horse feed over there,” Mrs Pur­cell said.

“And pack­ag­ing the lucerne hay re­ally adds to the longevity of it. It will stay fresh for longer, which is im­por­tant when it’s be­ing sent over­seas.”

The Dubai-based air­line Emi­rates is the ma­jor spon­sor of the Mel­bourne Cup, which shows how prom­i­nent the horse in­dus­try is in the re­gion.

But tap­ping into an in­dus­try with so much prom­ise will re­quire net­work­ing with key play­ers in the Mid­dle East­ern com­mu­nity.

“We think there will be about 5000 peo­ple at the expo, whereas in Aus­tralia you might get 100,000 peo­ple at an event like this. But be­cause each per­son has more horses, it’s more ef­fi­cient when you are net­work­ing,” she said.

Monto agron­o­mist Ken­dell Muller will also travel with Mr Pur­cell to the Dubai show, and they will ar­rive back Tues­day week after the eight-day trip.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

SOLID GROUND: Monto’s Kevin and Naomi Pur­cell hope to ex­pand their Seven Horses com­pressed and vac­uum packed lucerne business into the Mid­dle East after at­tend­ing a trade show in Dubai next week.

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