VICTORIA’S decision to mandate electronic sheep and goat identification will be used to promote the state’s sheep meat products at the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show in Dubai.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has arrived at the Gulfood 2017 trade show in the United Arab Emirates capital with a delegation of the state’s best and most innovative food and beverage producers.
Grass-fed lamb and beef producers from Victoria are among the delegation of more than 50 companies, which also includes manufacturers of premium ice cream, dried fruit, and handmade specialist cheeses.
Ms Pulford will also use the trade delegation visit to highlight recent innovations, such as the introduction of electronic identification tagging for sheep and goats and its benefits for traceability and consumer trust.
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Victoria has been a prominent Gulfood participant since 1999 and will this year host its first stand-alone dairy stand showcasing products from eight companies – ranging from bulk commodity exporters through to boutique processors targeting the high-end food service industry.
A further 21 companies will be featured on the Andrews Labor Government’s food and beverage stand, including producers and exporters of premium lamb and beef, horticultural products and processed foods.
Victoria is Australia’s largest exporter of premium lamb, dairy, horticultural products, and processed foods. The state’s food and beverage exports have grown by almost 23 per cent over the past five years to be worth more than $8.5 billion.
The Middle East and North Africa region is already one of Victoria’s largest food and fibre export destinations, valued at almost $1 billion.
Gulfood 2017 will run from February 26 to March 2 at the Dubai World Trade Centre and is expected to attract more than 5000 exhibitors and 95,000 visitors from all over the world.
Ms Pulford said Gulfood is the biggest food trade show in the world with over 5000 exhibitors from 120 countries attracting 90,000 visitors from around the world.
“Our farmers and local food companies excel on the global stage and we’re proud to join them in Dubai this week as they showcase their amazing food and beverages.”
Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said the state’s targeted trade mission programs were proving successful, with 2015-16 being the state’s biggest export year yet.