Aussie jerky primed for Asian export markets

Emma Alsop, 23/03/2022

Cathie and Jim Tanner and Emily Pullen, Jim’s Jerky, with Phillip Nguyen, IPGG and Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport Business Development Manager Jonny Arkins.

Jim’s Jerky chief executive officer Emily Pullen says Australian jerky and other locally-produced meat-based snack foods are in the perfect position to capitalise on the demand for these kinds of premium products in Asian markets.

The Darling Downs family-owned beef jerky company is just starting their export journey after meeting with representatives from Vietnam’s largest luxury importer, Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG) at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport last week.

The talks, led by IPPG vice president Phillip Nguyen, came after an announcement to create a ‘commerce corridor’ between Wellcamp and Cam Ranh Airport, which would provide direct access for Darling Downs and Queensland produce to the $10 billion Vietnamese consumer market.

Ms Pullen said the meeting was the first step in creating a long term relationship with IPPG.

She said Mr Nguyen saw the potential for Jim’s Jerky and other Australian value-added meat products to have a place in the Vietnamese market.

“Having that connection to Vietnam, which is a growing market for Australian beef, and the possibility of taking our product there, as a value-added product, is really exciting,” Ms Pullen said.

“Particularly because they understand the concept of meat snacking.

“They already have jerky and have a lot of dried fish products, so this would be a way of bringing a premium Australian product into that dynamic.”

As an offshoot of the beef industry, Ms Pullen said her company is taking advantage of over 30 years of work undertaken by the Australian meat sector to showcase the benefits of the local product.

“Exporting Australian beef is a well-worn path, and the Australian beef industry has done such an amazing job building a profile of premium quality, clean, raised ethically products.

“As a value-added product, we feel we can take that reputation and move it into a different category in snacking, but still maintain that connection to the ‘Australian-ness’ of the product.”

Related: Vietnam ‘perfect partner’ to bridge beef, grain trade gap


Ms Pullen said Vietnam is their first “serious lead into exporting” but other Asian markets also provide be opportunities for Australian jerky.

“If you look at specific market segments like the Japanese market, the Korean market and the Vietnamese market, they are already established meat-snackers.

“They have jerky products and pork products like pork floss bak kwa.

“They already understand the concept of dried beef as a snack food.

“What we are hoping to offer is an Australian take on that, so it is slightly different and using premium Australian beef as our raw material.

“Getting the market access requirements right will be important and, as we are an emerging exporter, it is understanding that and working with partners to help us through that process.”

Ms Pullen said the company is still in the early stages of the process.

Export opportunity

Jim Tanner and Mr Ngyuen at Wellcamp Airport last week.

Although Jim’s Jerky first received their export accreditation in November 2019, COVID-19 and other impediments meant this was the first opportunity to investigate export markets.

“We had a really good initial meeting, and we are moving forward with what a commercial partnership would look like.

“Our commitment was to explore the opportunities, particularly around their duty-free business as a possible starting point, and where that would develop from there.

“We would also like to explore more export markets, but because beef jerky is a bit niche and we are a small company, we want to do it sustainably.”

The ‘commerce corridor’ was formally established via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed earlier this month between IPPG and Wagner Corporation, owners of the Wellcamp Airport.

The two parties are currently developing a business case that investigates the benefits of the corridor and sets a framework for its implementation.

Jim’s Jerky was founded by Queensland grain growers and beef producers, Jim and Cathie Tanner, 17 years ago with daughter, Ms Pullen, joining the company in 2015.





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