International students helping Aussie exporters succeed in China

Published 17 December 2018
Brookfarm visit by Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair NSW Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair with Pam Brook, Brookfarm owner and Southern Cross University international student Qunyao (Ann) Liu at the Brookfarm bakehouse in Byron Bay.

A leading producer and exporter of premium quality macadamia products has tapped into the knowledge of local international students to capitalise on its marketing effort in China.

Witnessing a growth in Chinese desires for macadamia based products, Byron Bay company Brookfarm enlisted a trio of young Chinese international students, studying at Southern Cross, for work experience so they could offer insights into what Chinese middle-class consumers eat for breakfast.

Visiting the Brookfarm bakehouse today, Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair said it was fantastic to see mutually beneficial outcomes for both international students and local businesses.

“Not only have the students had an opportunity to gain work experience and improve their understanding of an Australian workplace, our local businesses have also achieved very positive outcomes,” Mr Blair said.

“Having recently visited China, it’s clear that Chinese consumers highly value our clean, green NSW produce and it’s fantastic to see a very successful exporter like Brookfarm doing everything it can to make the most of this opportunity.”

Brookfarm Head of Marketing Clinton Bown said the company had enjoyed significant growth in exports over the past few years, with the Chinese market alone accounting for at least 20 per cent of its sales.

“Accessing business students through the Southern Cross University’s Volunteer Connect program, particularly those with an understanding of the markets throughout Asia, has really assisted us in better understanding our key Chinese demographic,” Mr Bown said.

The students spent a total of 15 hours with Brookfarm’s sales and marketing team, sharing their insights on a range of breakfast products and helping to develop a Chinese-language product information website.

One of the students, Qunyao (Ann) Liu, met with Mr Blair during his visit and said she was thrilled to have worked alongside the Brookfarm team.

“As an overseas student, most of my understanding of Australia has come from my university life. This program gives me more understanding about Australia’s companies and economy,” Ms Liu said.

Supported by Study NSW’s Partner Projects, Southern Cross University’s Volunteer Connect program was offered to first-year international students in 2018 to assist them in understanding Australian workplace culture. In 2019, employers and students (both international and domestic) can connect through the University’s Live Ideas platform.


Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349 or