Austrade media release
Friday November 16, 2007
Melbourne company Farm by Nature is winning over chocolate lovers from Europe and around the world, using a unique Australian innovation that adds real wine to chocolate to create the world’s first non-liqueur wine chocolates.
Made under their signature Cocoa Farm brand, Farm by Nature’s chocolates have won fans amongst consumers, gourmets and retailers with authentic shiraz, merlot and pinot noir flavours.
“While people often eat wine and chocolate together, nobody has yet combined real wine and chocolate in a way that complements both,” said Janice Falzon, Farm by Nature CEO.
“A patent-protected method for infusing chocolate with real wine is the first anywhere in the world – a combination that not only adds to the flavour, but also delivers added benefits, by combining the proven anti-oxidant qualities of both red wine and cocoa. The technology was originally developed by Aussie company Horizon Science and is now licensed to Farm by Nature,” Ms Falzon said.
Through Austrade’s New Exporter Development Program, Farm by Nature made their first sale into the United Kingdom last year.
“After our initial success in the UK, we participated in the ISM International Confectionery Fair this year in Cologne Germany, as part of a trade mission organised by Austrade. As a result our export revenue is expected to grow from $15,000 last year to $750,000 in 2007,” Ms Falzon said.
A rapidly growing international customer base, mostly in European markets, has seen the company implement significant expansion plans.
“A new chocolate factory has been commissioned at our Scoresby head office with manufacturing starting in December. Our sister company has also been working for several years to establish Australia’s first commercial cocoa farm near Mossman in far North Queensland, and we anticipate Australia’s first ever commercially grown cocoa crop will be harvested in June 2008,” Ms Falzon said.
According to Austrade Chief Economist Tim Harcourt, Australia’s “clean green image” is helping companies like Farm by Nature crack the European market.
“Australia’s natural environment and our reputation for health and well being, including high quality food and wine is helping build our reputation in the ‘country brand’ stakes. Australia recently topped the world in the latest FutureBrand Index showing that the world’s preference for all things Australian can really pay dividends to our exporters. Farm by Nature is showing how to succeed by tapping into our strong reputation,” he said.
A total of 1600 suppliers from over 70 countries exhibited at ISM this year, with 36,000 visitors and buyers from 150 markets.
Farm by Nature have won numerous awards for their creations during their short history, including overall winner in the prestigious Food Challenge Awards in Sydney in July.
In 2006-07, Austrade assisted 225 food and beverage companies make 234 export deals worth $235 million to EU countries. Forty-three of these companies were new or irregular exporters.
Over the same period, 266 food and beverage exporters active in the European Union received $10.9 million in EMDG funding support, generating $99.7 million in export sales.
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For further news and information from the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) visit www.austrade.gov.au//mediacentre.