Chocolatier - delegation from China

A high-level delegation from Chongqing and Beijing is currently visiting Melbourne’s north to build trade relations between the two regions, specifically in food, beverage and related industries.

A highlight of the visit is the Melbourne’s North Food & Beverage Expo, presented by the Melbourne’s North Food Group and held on 22 May at the Melbourne Polytechnic Conference Centre. There the delegation and other visitors will be welcomed by more than 30 exhibitors, whose products ranged from smallgoods, cheese and chocolate to wines, health foods and coffee.

Other activities include factory tours visits to the Melbourne Markets, and tours of education and R&D facilities such as the RMIT Food Research and Innovation Centre.

In May last year, a NORTH Link delegation of food, beverage and fibre companies based in Melbourne’s north visited Chongqing to strengthen economic and trade communication.  This return delegation from Chongqing, a city of 32 million, is further exploring business opportunities between the two regions.

“Working with La Trobe University, we’ve forged a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with a fast-growing and dynamic city in China. And this is just the start of our activities to support the local food and beverage industry,” said Chris James, Executive Director of NORTH Link.

“Research we conducted with our partners showed that this industry in Melbourne’s north has the potential to almost double in size and create an additional 7000 jobs over the next 10 years if the right support is in place. A key recommendation was establishment of an industry body – the Melbourne’s North Food Group –that would represent the interests of its members and conduct activities to promote investment and growth.”

The Melbourne’s North Food Group, which sits under the NORTH Link banner, aims to elevate the industry and help businesses meet the challenges of the local and global marketplaces. The organisation has strong support – its project partners include the Victorian Government, La Trobe University, RMIT University, Kangan Institute, Melbourne Polytechnic, Banyule City Council, City of Darebin, Hume City Council, Moreland City Council, City of Whittlesea, Melbourne Market Authority, Melbourne Innovation Centre, Yarra Valley Water, Matthews Steer and MacPherson Kelley lawyers.

“We’re excited about the future of the food and beverage industry in our region,” added Mr James. “These are early days, but we can see huge potential for growth in local, national and overseas markets, including our strong relationship with Chongqing.”

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­­­­­­­Contact: Chris James, Executive Director, NORTH Link – T: 0417 353 650