A new grants program has opened aimed at helping Queensland export businesses better sell their products online to overseas customers.
The new $400,000 E-commerce Grants Program will offer up to $10,000 to Queensland exporters that already have an e-commerce deal but want to ramp up their online activity in Queensland’s key export markets.
Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was all part of her government’s economic recovery plan.
“COVID-19 impacted the global economy and has brought substantial challenges to export businesses including increases in air-freight costs and lower availability of those services,” the Premier said.
“But it has also brought home the power of online shopping and rolling out grants programs like this will assist Queensland export businesses better tap into global e-commerce channels to not only grow their businesses but help them thrive.
“E-commerce is booming all over the world as more consumers in more markets see value in the convenience of online purchasing and home delivery, so there’s an opportunity for Queensland exporters to use e-commerce to achieve higher returns.
“This grants program helps with the cost of executing a new e-commerce initiative and is just one of many ways my government is assisting businesses to recover from the disruptions caused by the pandemic.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the grants program is being run by the government’s global business agency Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).
“TIQ will deliver the grants as part of a broader program to get more Queensland businesses using e-commerce,” he said.
“Funding will help cover the cost of ‘last mile’ elements such as in-market logistics, and research and consumer profiling.
“Last year we committed $12.5 million to support agribusiness and the food industry as part of our economic recovery with $5 million in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries going towards reinvigorating trade relationships post COVID-19.
“This e-commerce grants program is part of that funding.
Townsville-based mango grower Manbulloo has been using e-commerce for the past five years and now sells its mangoes through digital channels in Korea, China, Canada and the USA.
With limited availability and higher cost of air freight in 2020, Manbulloo needed to add value to its products to maintain export volumes and returns, with e-commerce providing the answer.
Export Manager Scott Ledger said the company targeted two e-commerce platforms in Korea, with help from Trade and Investment Queensland, and sold $100,000 worth of R2E2 mangoes in just one hour on the GS Home Shopping Channel in November.
“Using e-commerce, consumers will pay more because they value the convenience of buying online and the freshness of the product delivered to their home,” he said.
“An extra benefit of e-commerce is the direct engagement with consumers and the feedback you receive on how your product is performing.”
Mr Ledger said Manbulloo was also focused on innovation and is currently working with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to develop real-time temperature monitoring systems to predict shelf-life.
“Exporting provides us with another way to grow our business and provides us with opportunities to innovate in the supply chain,” he said.
“The information and encouragement we have received from government has been critical to our export development, specifically in terms of understanding the market dynamics and developing product-handling systems.
“With this kind of support, we’re always looking at ways to build on what we’re doing and continue to innovate and expand.”
For more information or to apply for an e-commerce grant, visit tiq.qld.gov.au