Agriculture and food items
People in Japan know that Australia is a clean and green country and the place to source safe and good food items, not just beef.
While Ling was operating in Tokyo as an international business consultant, most of the foreign companies she assisted were in the food related industry. Beef, crayfish, onion, wine, cheese, muesli bar, Karasumi (salted and dried mullet roe), dried fruits, chocolate, olive oil, etc.
There should be more Australian food items, both fresh and processed, introduced to the Japanese market. One good example is Mango, while only small amount has been exported to Japan at a premium price, the Japanese people should be able to enjoy the beautiful fruit at a much lower price.
It is the fact that Japan is not an easy market to get into compared to other countries because of distribution system, language barrier and other obstacles. However, once you have established a trusting business relationship, it is the most rewarding party to do business with.
A family company in Brisbane which developed a technique to produce high quality Karasumi with an assistance of Ling’s company kept exporting Karasumi to Japan for more than 20 years. At one stage, one of the large Japanese companies which was in flour milling, wanted to produce a ready- to eat packaged food, Karasumi Spaghetti. They checked quality of Karasumi from 36 companies in the world, and chose this Brisbane company’s product. Then they had to find another company who was producing powder from Karasumi, and chose a company in France. For almost one year, Ling was in a constant communication with the French company, including visiting the factory in Paris, and Brisbane company to assist the Japanese company. After lots of hard work, Karasumi Spaghetti was created, but, unfortunately, the end product was not well accepted in the Japanese marekt.
Another example of unfortunate result was the Australian meat pie created for Japan. A Japanese company and a pie company on the Gold Coast together invested lots of money, time and efforts to create an Australian meat pie that would be, hopefully, acceptable by the Japanese consumers, but, it did not go anywhere.
There should be many ways to combine high quality Australian produce and Japanese know how/technology to create foods that everyone wants to enjoy.