20 December 2005

A UQ Gatton researcher has returned from Japan after looking at opportunities to develop the export market for native Australian cut-flower and cut-foliage products.

Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho, a postdoctoral researcher with The University of Queensland (UQ), Gatton Campus made the trip in a collaborative project between the University’s Centre for Native Floriculture (CNF) and the Sunshine Coast-based native cut-foliage company, Cedar Hill.

According to Lilly, the trip primarily focused on value chain management for Australian exporters, examining new and existing markets for native Australian cut-flower and cut-foliage products.

“We were tracking Australian products throughout the entire supply chain, meeting with importers, wholesalers and finally florists to discuss what products they are using, why they are using them, and why they like the products that they are buying,” Lilly said.

“We were working with Cedar Hill on this project, but there are also other companies directly involved in the project. All up, I have investigated four chains into the Japanese market.”

The project is co-funded by Australia’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

Lilly originally completed her undergraduate studies at The University of the Philippines, Los Baños before undertaking a PhD project with UQ entitled “Unlocking successful new rural industries: Is supply chains management the key?” investigating the management of various supply chains in the olive, Asian vegetable, kangaroo, emu and Australian native flower industries.

Lilly completed her PhD and now works with the CNF and forward thinking companies such as Cedar Hill to advance their products into non-traditional markets.

Cedar Hill Marketing and Sales Manager Mr Paul Bruce accompanied Lilly when she visited Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.

This initiative with the Cedar Hill company and the RIRDC is one of a number of informative value chain-associated market research and development projects being conducted by the CNF since its inception in 2003. The CNF is jointly funded by the Queensland State Government’s Department of State Development, Trade & Innovation and by the University.

Centre Director Professor Daryl Joyce said that the international market research being undertaken by the Centre’s Value Chain Program headed by Associate Professor Tony Dunne was an excellent example of "benefit delivery" to members of the native floriculture industry by the Centre.

“Developing a complete and current understanding of native floriculture product supply chains and market requirements amounts to sales opportunities being created for industry by the Centre,” he said.

“A fully functioning value chain in which all members understand and appreciate each other’s important contribution is the key to successful marketing of product.”

The Centre for Native Floriculture is not only supporting the financial future of this emerging industry, but also sustains the small but vital pool of talented specialist staff and students needed to deliver technical back-up for native floriculture industry.

Media inquiries: Susanne Schick - UQ Gatton Campus (07 5460 1229, 0409 265 587).
Further information/comment: Contact Daryl Joyce (07 5460 1725)