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Exports made delicious

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I know very few people who don't like eating and drinking. I was therefore very impressed with the recent competition run by the Association of Coffee and Tea of Hong Kong to promote Kam Cha, otherwise known as Hong Kong style milk tea, and in turn leverage some positive publicity for Hong Kong. The competition began last year in Hong Kong, to find the best teamaker of this very distinct beverage. As an event, it highlighted the cultural aspects of Kam Cha as well as led to renewed interest in the beverage. This year, select locations around the world-three locations in China, and also Canada and Australia-became satellite competitions, with the winners from each travelling to Hong Kong to compete against each other. It prompted me to think about what Australian food and beverage exporters could do to promote our produce, goods and services; surely there's no better way to win the heart of the global market than through its stomach? Perhaps we could turn Australian MasterChef fervour into a native gastronomic challenge complete with wine matching? How about a dairy challenge via a Tim Tam slam? Or what about a pie-making contest with Aussie meat and pastry made from our flour and butter? Austrade already run a number of food-related promotions around the world: G'Day USA in January every year is one prominent example of making exports delicious. But I challenge industry associations, trade shows, or even individual businesses to run an event like the Kam Cha competition that will have the same scale of positive effects for Australian food and beverage. Rong Gen Su is the Australian Kam Cha champion who will contest the International Kam Cha Competition 2010 in Hong Kong on August 14 at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Tea Fair.

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