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Chinese Demand Drives Seafood Export Growth

10 November 2010

AUSTRALIA - The rapid export growth enjoyed by Seafood Exporters Australia has been recognised in winning the International Award at the Premier's Food Industry Awards.

Seafood Exporters chief executive Michael Filippidis put the company's success down to rapidly rising Chinese demand for premium-quality seafood, reports Adelaide Now.

Mr Filippidis expects the demand will provide a significant boost to the South Australia aquaculture industry within five years.

After five trips to China this year, he is confident rapid growth at the top end of the market will make a big difference to the state's aquaculture sales.

Seafood Exporters sales have grown from humble beginnings 18 months ago to millions of dollars of seafood this financial year, while employment has reached 10 people.

It has just opened an office in China to handle the soaring demand for quality Australian seafood, which has reached a minimum of eight to 10 tonnes of seafood to Asia each week.

"We always need to factor in foreign exchange rates, which adds a layer of complexity to the business," he said.

"But years of oyster farming and trading in fresh natural products like seafood has given us the experience to deal with uncertainty. We just need to stay focused.

"I'd envisaged a nice, steady growth, but we have reached a position in 18 months where I expected we would be after five years," Mr Filippidis said.

"The possibilities are endless throughout the Asian markets and I don't know where to put a cap on it. They are exciting times for us and we are getting a better return on our export markets because they really appreciate our quality."

Mr Filippidis and partners Ian Webber and Ken Bascomb, who own six oyster farms on Eyre Peninsula between the three of them, started Seafood Exporters in a tin shed at Wingfield in late 2008 to market oysters.



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