Ag exporters line up for national awards

Ag export award finalists shortlisted for ingenuity, enterprise

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Queensland-based lot feeding and branded beef business, Mort and Company.

Queensland-based lot feeding and branded beef business, Mort and Company.

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Finalists revealed for the Australian Export Awards to be announced in Canberra next month

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Businesses exporting everything from high-tech underwear to a revolutionary horseshoe design and farmed fish are among the finalists for the Australian Export Awards, to be announced in Canberra next month.

The export awards, co-presented by Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been held for 57 years, making them Australia's longest-running business recognition event.

Collectively the 94 state and territory finalists employ 34,000 people and generate more than $7.8 billion in export earnings.

This year's finals span 13 categories, plus the peak award - the 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year.

Tasmanian finalist, Candy Abalone

Tasmanian finalist, Candy Abalone

In the agribusiness category finalists vying for the national title are: livestock exporter, South East Asian Livestock Services (NT); Geraldton Fishermen's Co-Operative (WA); infant nutrition products and dietary supplements maker, Essence Group (NSW); farmed kingfish producer, Clean Seas Seafood (SA); almond grower and processor, Select Harvests (Victoria); native plant extract exporter, Essential Oils of Tasmania; Australia's biggest locally owned lot feeder, Mort and Co (Queensland), and southern NSW alpaca fleece products maker, The House of Alpaca (ACT).

Managing director of Victorian agribusiness finalist, Select Harvests, Paul Thompson.

Managing director of Victorian agribusiness finalist, Select Harvests, Paul Thompson.

In other categories, South Australia's Haselgrove Wines of McLaren Vale is a finalist in the small business category for specialising in small batch, hand-crafted wines, while SA's Sentek Technologies' sensor gear has enabled farmers worldwide to reduce water, fertiliser, energy consumption and increase crop yield.

More than 85 per cent of Sentek's total revenue is derived from exports.

Tasmania also rates highly with agribusinesses in other categories, including the Scoot Boot company, co-founded by former farrier, Dave Macdonald.

South Australia's Sentek Technologies.

South Australia's Sentek Technologies.

He has helped revolutionise the way horses move and perform with his thermoplastic urethane equine hoof boot.

International sales via e-commerce have driven a 400 per cent increase in company revenue since 2015.

Hobart-based creative industries category finalist, Smitten Merino, designs and makes lightweight clothing from superfine Merino wool.

It specifically employs and supports skilled Australian women "to keep sewing our clothing".

In the small business category is seafood producer, Candy Abalone, which specialises in wild-caught, dried, ready-to-eat abalone primarily for the Chinese market.

I hope by sharing their success stories they will inspire the thousands of other Australian small businesses out there to take a punt and go global - Simon Birmingham, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, said through their creativity and determination the export businesses were now exporting high-quality goods and services all around the world.

"I hope by sharing their success stories they will inspire the thousands of other Australian small businesses out there to take a punt and go global," he said.

"Exports create more Australian jobs and further strengthen our economy."

WA agribusiness finalist, Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative.

WA agribusiness finalist, Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative.

Austrade chief executive officer, Dr Stephanie Fahey, said the Australian Export Awards offered an opportunity to recognise Australian business success.

"We are delighted to to shine a light on these innovative businesses and hope it will encourage others to step outside Australia and expand on their already existing success."

The awards will be presented at Parliament House, Canberra on the evening of December 3.

- See the full list of finalists here.

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