LISMORE meat processor Merrick Blok has taken his proactive approach to expanding the local industry all the way to Hong Kong.
"China's a big market with a lot of potential customers," Mr Blok, the co-owner of Lismore-based Lee Pratt Beef said.
Mr Blok has just returned from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Food Expo where he was promoting his prime beef products, making new friends and finding new export customers.
"The trip was a success in a lot of ways.
"I got a chance to catch up with some old friends and make some new contacts.
"I'm just starting to follow through on a number of leads. They could be good for our business. We'll have to see."
Lee Pratt Beef had a place on the NSW Government stand at the Hong Kong expo that also gave him the opportunity to network with the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner
Discussions focussed on import barriers to trade and the Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated, Mr Blok said.
The Hong Kong expo draws 20,000 buyers from more than 50 countries and was a golden opportunity for NSW's world-class food producers to take their products to a wider audience, Mr Stoner said.
"The government is working hard to help NSW food manufacturers win new business.
"Hong Kong was an ideal opportunity for NSW food makers to show they are ready to explore new opportunities as they come along and confidently venture into new markets."
Price was the dominant factor in most of the talks with Hong Kong buyers, Mr Blok said.
"Everyone asked about our product and the tastings and sampling were very well received," he said.
"But we're in the higher range of the meat chain and a lot of the talks we had always seemed to come down to price."