Export Readiness

A major challenge for growers can be understanding how to access new markets, a challenging supply chain and having the right tools for exporting. A properly designed export supply chain is instrumental to the success of achieving your business commercial goals.

In 2018 NT Farmers were awarded a Free Trade Agreement – Market Entry Grant Funding Agreement in relation to the Northern Territory Horticultural export market supply chains and to develop exports directly out of Darwin which will allow producers to have a competitive advantage of shortening their supply chain. Export capacity and readiness is a major focus for NT Farmers and can assist in delivering a range of export readiness resources for growers looking to commence exporting or those looking to improve exporting performance.

Export Readiness Checklist

  1. Review your current business and how would export fit into this plan?
  2. What are the key factors to your Australian domestic success? Can these successes be transcribed into your export strategy?
  3. Are you wanting to export to increase your profit margins, increase sales volume or will your sales volume remain the same and the business will take a percentage of the overall volume off domestic sales?
  4. What is your unique selling proposition? Including seasonal competitiveness, product differentiation, relationship management?
  5. Effectiveness of your internal business processes and capabilities.  Will there be changes required for export?
  6. Financial resources will be required to set up export operations. Have you considered how you will finance your business growth? For more info visit Export Finance Australia
  7. What markets are you considering exporting to? for more info visit Free Trade Agreements
  8. Austrade’s TradeStart network can assist small and medium-sized exporters to achieve long term success in international markets  It offers exporters the combined resources of Austrade and each partner organisation, providing local assistance and a direct link to Austrade’s services and overseas network.
  1. Understanding the competitor’s objective and strategies – evaluation of macro and micro factors using a PESTEL (political, economic, social, technology, legal, environment) analysis for the identification of forces that will impact the market environment and could directly impact your business. Refer Useful Resources below 
  2. SWOT analysis for each proposed market – the framework will assist in uncovering your business and competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and establishing management strategies to eliminate these different forces. (including the suitability of the product, selling proposition, service offerings, seasonal advantages, brand & marketing material, phytosanitary requirements).Refer Useful Resources below 
  3. Competitor analysis (map positioning) – The collection and analysis of competitive research is a tactical way of finding out the countries and companies who could pose a threat. Useful Links: AustradeIBIS World Asian Development Bank

What are the necessary steps involved in the correct procedures for exporting and interacting with the right agency?  Dependent on the commodity these may vary and utilising NT Farmers Association, the representative peak body, Department of Agriculture, Department of Water and Natural Resources, your local government institution, Austrade etc. can assist in preparing you for the export process.

The export process:

  1. Identify whether your goods are prescribed
  • Under the Export Control Act 1982, fresh fruit and vegetables are ‘prescribed goods’ and must comply with the requirements under the Export Control Act 1982

     2. Check the importing country requirements

      3. Submit a Notice of Intention or Request for Permit form and supporting documents

  •  Prepare your goods and any registrations. Properties, including farms and packhouses, will need to be accredited by the department if the importing country requires the property to follow specific procedures or systems. For more info visit Horticulture export accredited properties

    4. For mango export registration 

     5. Present documents and goods to an Authorised Officer

  • Fruit and vegetables must be inspected by an Authorised Officer at a registered establishment and must be found to be free of pests, contaminants and in a condition that allows any phytosanitary requirement or other certificates to be issued. Refer useful Resources below.

     6. Export your goods (packing and authorising) through an Authorised Officer

  1. Your export pathway – the responsibility of logistics, preparation, freight and documentation requirements.
  2. Logistical demands – engaging the services of a sales agent or distributor, freight forwarders, exporter or customs broker or direct to market.
  3. Airfreight versus sea freight cost comparisons. 
  4. Internal and external transit times
  5. Internal freight options to the closest exit port
  6. Understanding payment options for international transactions
  7. Determination of pricing structures
  1. Marketing activities will be determined by your export pathway.
  2. If the business still has ownership of the product than marketing and relationship management will be a priority.
  3. Marketing activities, point of sale material, packaging and labelling and website content will have to be culturally sensitive to the exporting country and translated into their native tongue. 
  4. Managing the relationship by conducting regular overseas market trips to the customer is critical not just through the initial export stages but continuing throughout the life of the relationship.
  5. Have you explored funding options such as the Export Market Development Grant EMDG offered by Austrade?