Beston Global Food: Sweet export dreams are made of cheese

Next time you eat pizza in Thailand, chances are the delicious mozzarella topping is from Australia’s Beston Global Food (ASX: BFC). The company has signed an agreement with KCG Corporation, one of Thailand’s leading food importers, to supply its cheese for sale to consumers and the HORECA sector.

The partnership has proven so successful that BFC and KCG recently signed a memorandum of understanding to develop more products for Thailand and other ASEAN markets. This arrangement will help accelerate BFC’s expansion in the region.

Austrade acted as a matchmaker for BFC and KCG, hosting their meeting at Fine Food Australia in 2019. Austrade also included BFC in an Australian food showcase across 143 Siam Makro stores. The promotion resulted in strong sales for BFC’s cheese.

“We have a great relationship with Austrade,” says Fabrizio Jorge, CEO of Beston Global Food. “They have always been active in providing market support. Their market knowledge and research was very helpful in the beginning. They helped us navigate the market access requirements and understand the pricing of We know that if we run into difficulties in the market, we can count on Austrade.’

A South Australian dairy powerhouse

BFC makes premium brands such as Edwards Crossing Cheese, Mable Cream Cheese and Ei8h+ Water. It also manufactures lactoferrin and whey powders. Its subsidiary Provincial Food Group manufactures meat products for the local retail and foodservice sectors. It has 2 dairy processing plants in South Australia and a meat processing plant in Victoria. In 2021, the Financial Times ranked BFC as the second fastest growing food and beverage company in the Asia-Pacific region and the fastest in Australia.

BFC sources 90% of its milk (about 30-40% of South Australia’s total milk production) from local farmers. The rest comes from Victorian farmers. About 5 years ago, it produced about 20 million liters of milk per year. Today, it produces around 160 million liters per year.

“As the state’s largest dairy processor, we are proud to support South Australian farmers,” says Jorge.

Forging partnerships at Fine Food Australia

BFC exports approximately 30% of its milk production to markets such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, EU and Thailand. While exporting has always been a priority, over the past 12 months the company has made exporting a long-term strategic commitment.

One of its main markets is Thailand, where it has been present since 2020. “Thailand is an exciting market for us,” says Jorge. “It was a huge tourist destination before the pandemic, and things are picking up. Thai consumers are also embracing dairy products.

BFC met its Thai distributor KCG Corporation at Fine Food Australia (FFA) in 2019. FFA is Australia’s premier trade event for the food industry. It attracts visitors from all over Australia and around the world. Ahead of the 2019 event, KCG contacted Austrade to ask to meet with dairy manufacturers. Austrade organized for BFC a meeting with KCG during the event.

“Austrade’s business matchmaking service is fantastic. We knew we were meeting a distributor who was genuinely interested in our products,” says Jorge. “Trade shows like FFA are also a great way to showcase your products, share your story and connect with potential customers.”


A Thai distributor to boost exports

BFC exports bulk cheese to KCG. KCG then grates the cheese to make mozzarella. The product is packaged and distributed to hotels, restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.

“Different markets have different preferences when it comes to mozzarella,” says Jorge. “In Thailand, we worked intensively with our R&D teams and those of KCG to fine-tune the bulk cheese, so that the final product meets the expectations of the Thai market.

In June 2022, BFC and KCG signed a memorandum of understanding. Under the MoU, KCG will become a strategic investor in BFC and the exclusive distributor of BFC products in Thailand. It will also see the 2 companies develop more products for Thailand and other ASEAN markets. The 2 companies have already developed mozzarella for other ASEAN markets.

Make a good impression in the HORECA sector

Austrade was also instrumental in securing BFC a supply agreement with Siam Makro, a large retail chain similar to Costco. Siam Makro bought BFC cheese in bulk and repackaged it under its HORECA brand as part of a big promotion.

The promotion aimed to highlight Australian gastronomy to consumers and the HORECA sector. It was released in over 140 Siam Makro stores in May 2022. The promotion was supported by an Australian Fine Foods catalog available in Siam Makro stores and its online sales channel.

“Having an Austrade representative in Bangkok is invaluable,” says Jorge. “They bring their local knowledge to help us understand the unique demands of the market.”

BFC will continue to seek opportunities in Thailand and ASEAN. He is also exploring opportunities in Japan and Korea.

Go further, faster with Austrade

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

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