It’s a sweet suc­cess

Swee­tee Cit­rus Group is lead­ing the way for cit­rus grow­ers in the North Bur­nett

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Kate Dar­vall kate.dar­vall@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

FOL­LOW­ING a suc­cess­ful ex­port sea­son into the Chi­nese mar­ket, one Gayn­dah and Mun­dub­bera cit­rus grower says there is no time to stop and taste the suc­cess.

Swee­tee Cit­rus Group spent the last four years build­ing work­ing re­la­tion­ships with Asian im­porters but mar­ket­ing manager Dar­ryl Lowe said this was just the be­gin­ning.

“At this stage it’s all fairly solid, but it’s look­ing like it’s go­ing to ex­pand a lot fur­ther,” Mr Lowe said.

With im­porters in­clud­ing COFCO, China’s largest food com­pany, Mr Lowe said it was full steam ahead.

“We’re look­ing at other ma­jor cus­tomers in China and Thai­land and other places in the world,” he said.

“I’d like it to grow at least an­other 50% on last year’s fig­ures and keep at that rate over a pe­riod of five to 10 years.

“That would be ex­cep­tional, but that’s the tar­get we’ve set.”

Mr Lowe said de­mand con­tin­ued to grow for their prod­uct but suc­cess wholly re­lied on Swee­tee Cit­rus Group’s in­tegrity.

“You’ve got to give them (cus­tomers) an un­der­stand­ing of ex­actly what you’re ca­pa­ble of do­ing,” he said.

“You can’t say you’re go­ing to give them roses and give them prick­les.

“You’ve got to do the right thing.”

Mr Lowe said trad­ing would not only help North Bur­nett grow­ers but the towns’ economies too.

“As busi­ness grows, it will cre­ate em­ploy­ment lo­cally as well,” he said.

“That’s a side bonus re­ally.”

Mr Lowe said a group of grow­ers from Gayn­dah and Mun­dub­bera formed an “emo­tional al­liance” to pro­mote prod­ucts in Asian coun­tries and ex­pand their mar­ket.

“I’m ex­cited for the grow­ers, they’re the ones that will re­ally see a ben­e­fit from it,” he said.

“Hope­fully it will help fi­nan­cially over the next 10 years.

“But it’s only ever as good as the ef­fort you put into it.”

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