AGRIBUSINESS: Company representatives from Our Home and Rockhampton Regional Council Economic Development team members visit a feedlot.
AGRIBUSINESS: Company representatives from Our Home and Rockhampton Regional Council Economic Development team members visit a feedlot. Rockhampton Regional Council

$1.5b Korean company eyes off Rockhampton

FARMERS in the Rockhampton region are poised to cash in after a successful visit this week by a delegation from a major South Korean food company.

The exclusive visit by company representatives from Our Home, one of the most recognised food brands in South Korea, was coup for Rockhampton Regional Council's Economic Development team.

It was the result of a proactive invitation to showcase the region and explore the potential to establish an agricultural business.

With an annual turnover of $1.5 billion, Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow acknowledged the importance of the region putting its best foot forward to impress the Our Home trade delegation.

"This is a major company who have capital at their disposal. It's about working out where they should invest to get the right produce to take home," Cr Strelow said.

During their visit, the delegation has visited a feedlot, cattle and chicken farms, Teys meatworks and also met with professional services and with government agencies.

Cr Strelow said the region's reputation as the beef capital of Australia needed to be capitalised on during this visit.

"If you're going to buy beef, why wouldn't you buy it from the 'Beef Capital of Australia' and all of the great things that symbolises?" she said.

"The message we're receiving now from several Korean and Chinese delegations is that the brands of Australia and Queensland are very strong and stand for clean food, clean air in Asian countries.

"We already export into Asia but there is so much more that we could do."

Cr Strelow said they had been working with real estate agents and the delegation visited potential properties to purchase but ruled out council setting aside land.

"Our job was the invitation, the show and tell and then letting private enterprise do what it does best.

"The Our Home delegation will further discuss their visit with their senior management upon their return to Korea and we are very much looking forward to seeing what the outcome of their visit will be."

She credited her economic development officer's proactive approach towards trade and Asian engagement as a catalyst for the delegation's visit.

"Council has stepped up in a big way with its economic development role in the last 12-18 months stepping outside of what would normally be council's normal comfort zone. The world doesn't come to us, let's make our own luck."

Council's general manager of regional development and aviation, Scott Waters said the visit was another step forward for the council, the region and the community.

"A huge amount of work had been put in by the council officers in attracting a delegation of this calibre demonstrating what we have available to showcase and it is world class."

Mr Waters said they were already busy planning for what happens next.

"The next step, is looking at our infrastructure that we have so that we can support larger developments like this but first and foremost it's really about delivering jobs for our region and diversifying our agricultural centre," he said.

"Our airport is recognised as one of the best facilities in regional Queensland and our role is now building the business around the airport and delegations like this give us the ability to do that.

"Export is extremely important for us, we have the infrastructure on the ground and it's now time for us to deliver against that."

The mayor offered a word of caution saying they would have to be quick on their feet to take advantage of this golden opportunity now that their competitors knew about the interest generated by the visit.