Agrifood exporter says UK FTA creates fresh opportunities

26 May 2023

Manildra Group started off as a flour mill in rural New South Wales in 1952. Today the Australian family-owned company is one of Australia’s premier agribusiness exporters, with products ranging from starch-based food to animal products.

The new Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) creates fresh opportunities for Manildra.

While the UK was part of the EU, the company was largely restricted from selling into British markets. This was due to high tariffs on food imports from Australia, plus quotas.

From 31 May, the new FTA eliminates tariffs on over 99% of Australian exports into the UK. Remaining tariffs – including on some food items – will be progressively reduced.

Peter Simpson, General Manager of Manildra Group, believes this will open new doors for export of multiple lines to the UK, including starches and food products.

A rural NSW exporter

Manildra Group is one of the largest exporters of value-added food products through Australia’s biggest container port at Botany, Sydney.

The company exports A$700 million-worth of 100% Australian-sourced food and industrial product range. This includes flours, bakery premixes, oils, alcohols, vital wheat glutens, modified proteins, wheat starches, modified starches, syrups and animal stockfeed.

‘Export is at the heart of Manildra Group and is integral to our future,’ says Simpson. ‘We have been exporting food and industrial ingredients for more than 60 years to every continent in the world.’

Free trade agreements are critical to opening markets

The A-UKFTA creates multiple opportunities to grow Manildra Group’s exports to the UK. This includes expansion opportunities for its range of vital wheat glutens, modified proteins, native wheats and modified starches.

Simpson sees opportunities to build on existing relationships with UK companies. He also sees new opportunities in other industries such as aquaculture, pet foods, confectionary, paper and manufacturing, beverages and pharmaceuticals.

How Austrade helped 

Austrade is helping Manildra Group take advantage of these new opportunities. UK-based advisers act as the company’s eyes and ears on the ground overseas. 

‘Austrade is across the fluctuations in demand and business in overseas markets,’ says Simpson. ‘Its services create exceptional opportunities for us to expand our product range and customer base. It provides us with real commercial value.

‘Austrade has been and continues to be integral in helping us expand internationally. It facilitates connections and provides insightful market knowledge, invaluable advice, and support.’ 

‘We helped Manildra achieve export success through providing information, insight and introductions, leveraging our global network on the ground,’ says Chloe You, Global Engagement Manager, Austrade. ‘It is a privilege to see the positive impact Manildra has brought to the regional farming communities where their products’ ingredients are sourced.

‘We look forward to working with Manildra to further expand into new international markets, and achieve commercial outcomes.'

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